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News & Policy

PBGC Changes Premium Filing Deadline

December 10, 1998

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is giving plan administrators more time to file their insurance premium forms. The new due date will coincide with the latest date they must file their annual report on the plan (Form 5500) with the Internal Revenue Service.

"Moving the premium filing date has been the change most frequently suggested in discussions with plan administrators and pension consultants on how to improve PBGC's premium process. This change will make life easier for plan administrators and will save them time and money," said PBGC Executive Director David M. Strauss.

Premium filings currently are due eight and one half months after the beginning of the premium payment year. Thus, for calendar year plans, which begin on January 1, the payment date is September 15. The change, which appears in the December 14, 1998 Federal Register, moves the due date for most plans to nine and one half months after the beginning of the premium payment year. The change is effective beginning with 1999 plan year.

With the change, the premium filing date for calendar year plans will be October 15, 1999. Corresponding changes are being made for due dates of non-calendar plan years. For example, for a July 1 plan the filing date is moved from the following March 15 to April 15. A plan that has a plan year beginning on a date other than the first day of the month gets a two month extension from the due date under the old rule to parallel the Form 5500 due date. For example, a plan that has a plan year beginning on January 2 will now have a November 15 filing date (compared to September 15 under the old rule).

The filing date extension is aimed at providing better customer service for premium payers. Because the Form 5500 filing date, with extensions, has been a month later than the premium filing date, companies and their actuaries frequently needed to open their plan files twice -- once to calculate PBGC premiums and once for the Form 5500. With the change, plans will be able to prepare their premium filings at the same time as their Form 5500s.

PBGC is a federal agency created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to guarantee payment of basic pension benefits earned by workers. It covers some 42 million American workers and retirees participating in about 45,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. The agency receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed largely by insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans and by investment returns.

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PBGC No. 99-08