What's New for Practitioners
Multiemployer plan mandatory e-filing final rule. On September 17, 2015, PBGC published a final rule that amends PBGC's multiemployer regulations to require electronic filing of certain multiemployer notices, starting 2016. The final rule affects only notices to PBGC and does not involve the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. The regulatory changes will make the provision of information to PBGC more efficient and effective and result in a slight decrease in burden on filers. (09/17/2015)
Premium Reminders: Please note the following reminders to help ensure your premium filings are timely and accurate: (09/16/2015)
- For plan years starting in 2015, Small Plans are subject to the same Normal Due Date rules as all other plans. For example, a small plan with a plan year commencing (PYC) date of January 1, 2015 now has a due date of October 15, 2015. Further details are in the "When to File" section of the 2015 premium instructions.
- For plan years starting in 2014, the transition due dates for Small Plans still apply. For example, a small plan with a plan year commencing (PYC) date of December, 2, 2014 has a normal due date of Feb 16, 2016. Further details are in the "When to File" section of the 2014 premium instructions.
- Please take an inventory of the plans you are responsible for and take appropriate actions to ensure filings are made timely and accurately (e.g., review each plan's online Account History). We expect high filing activity leading up to October 15, 2015 (many plans have an October due date), so please file as soon as practicable.
- Be sure to use only the current Premium Payment Addresses for checks and electronic payments made outside of My PAA. Note that as of October 1, 2015, any payments or mail sent to the previous JPMorgan addresses will be returned to the sender and could result in late payment penalties.
- For small plans that had the opportunity to opt out of the Lookback Rule in the past but chose not to, PBGC permission is required to opt out. Conversely, if a plan opted out of the Lookback Rule for 2014, and now wants to use the Lookback Rule, PBGC permission is required. The request must be emailed to email@example.com at least 60 days before the due date. Further details are in the "How to Determine Unfunded Vested Benefits" section of the 2015 premium instructions.
- To help you keep current and to file timely, we recommend that you sign up to receive monthly practitioner filing reminder emails for the months you identify via the following link:
http://www.pbgc.gov/prac/pg/other/practitioner-filing-reminders.html. To help us continue to improve My PAA to meet your needs, please be sure to give us your feedback via the online surveys.
- If you have any questions or need assistance (e.g., if your My PAA account is locked or to deactivate your My PAA account because it is no longer needed), please contact PBGC's premium representatives at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-736-2444 and select the "premium" option.
Reportable Events final rule: On September 11, 2015, PBGC will publish a final rule amending its regulation on Reportable Events and Certain Other Notification Requirements (29 CFR part 4043). The amendments provide the majority of sponsors and plans with increased flexibility to determine whether a waiver from reporting will apply. Under the new rules, reporting will be limited to situations that pose the greatest risk to the pension insurance system. The final rule was developed in response to comments on the proposed rule and Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review. The final rule is available now for public inspection. For more information, read PBGC's press release and our Reportable Events FAQs. (09/10/2015)
Reportable Events: OMB has approved revisions to the information collection requirements for reportable events and Form 200 (large unpaid contributions) under the current regulation, 29 CFR part 4043. The revised forms and instructions can be found on the Reportable Events & Large Unpaid Contributions page of PBGC's website. For reports due on or after September 1, 2015, reportable events filers that use the optional forms (Form 10 or Form 10-A) and Form 200 filers must use the new forms. For reports due before September 1, 2015, either the new or old forms may be used. (07/30/2015)
4010 Proposed Rule: On July 27, 2015, PBGC will publish a proposal to amend its regulation on Annual Financial and Actuarial Information Reporting (29 CFR part 4010). The proposal would codify the guidance provided in Technical Updates 12-2 and 14-2 regarding the impact of recent legislation (MAP-21 and HATFA) on 4010 reporting. In addition, the proposal would modify the existing reporting waiver for companies with total underfunding of less than $15 million in all their plans. This change would better align the regulation with the original intent of generally limiting 4010 reporting relief to smaller plans.
The proposal would also add two new reporting waivers and make other minor technical changes. The proposed rule is available now for public inspection. Comments on the proposed rule are due September 25, 2015. (07/24/2015)
Interim final rule on multiemployer plan partitions. On June 19, 2015, PBGC published an interim final rule on Partitions of Eligible Multiemployer Plans. Comments on the rule and related information collection are due August 18, 2015. For more information, see Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. (06/19/2015)
PBGC Releases Data Tables: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation today released its annual update on pension data. The data tables cover information recently reported by pension plans and the PBGC and compares them to values for prior years. Generally the updates cover pension plans data for the year beginning in 2013 with some later data as well.
The data tables provide researchers, journalists and others interested in the federal pension insurance program easily accessible, detailed statistics for the single-employer and multiemployer plans that PBGC insures. The tables include the numbers of people and plans that PBGC protects, the number of people receiving or eligible to receive benefits from PBGC and the benefits paid to them, claims against PBGC, the funded status of PBGC-protected plans, breakdowns of populations that PBGC protects by industry and state, and other vital statistics. (06/02/2015)
Proposed rule on Multiemployer Plans - Electronic Filing Requirements: PBGC has received inquiries whether its proposed rule on mandatory e-filing for certain multiemployer notices would affect notices to participants. The proposed rule only affects notices to PBGC. As stated in the preamble, the proposed rule would require the following notices to be filed electronically with PBGC: notices of termination under part 4041A, notices of insolvency and of insolvency benefit level under parts 4245 and 4281, and applications for financial assistance under part 4281 (see page 18172, middle column). Further, the proposed rule does not involve the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). Comments on the proposed rule are due June 2, 2015. (05/20/2015)
Updates to My PAA & EFT Instructions: The My Plan Administration Account (My PAA) premium filing screens have been updated to reflect a more modern look & feel. There is a new Menu Bar on the top of every screen to help you navigate more easily between pages, and you will also see a new Launch Page (overlaid on your Home Page) when you log in to help you more easily start a task. In addition, the instructions for paying via Electronic Funds Transfer outside of My PAA (ACH or Fedwire) have changed. Please see the New Demos that reflect the updated screens and What’s New in My PAA for details. (05/04/2015)
Multiemployer plan mandatory e-filing proposed rule. On April 3, 2015, PBGC published a proposed rule that would amend PBGC's multiemployer regulations to require electronic filing of certain multiemployer notices, starting 2016. Comments are due by June 2, 2015. (04/03/2015)
Reportable Events and Notice of Failure to Make Required Contributions forms and instructions. On March 30, 2015, PBGC submitted to OMB for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act revised forms and instructions for Reportable Events and Notice of Failure to Make Required Contributions (Form 200). The complete submissions are posted on Information Collection Requests Under OMB Review. Information on how to comment is included in the related Federal Register notice. Comments are due to OMB by April 29, 2015. (04/01/2015)
2015 premium filings: OMB has approved the 2015 premium filing instructions. My PAA has been updated and is now ready to accept electronic premium fillings for plan years beginning in 2015. For information about how to e-file via My PAA (e.g., Demos and FAQs), see Online Premium Filing with My PAA. (03/9/2015)
RFI on multiemployer plan mergers and partitions: PBGC published a Request for Information, "Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014; Partitions of Eligible Multiemployer Plans and Facilitated Mergers," in the Federal Register. The request seeks input from the public and multiemployer plan stakeholders on the process for implementation of these tools under the new law. In addition, the Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Department of Labor (DOL) and PBGC, has also issued a Request for Information to help inform how the guidelines and procedures required by Congress for preparing and submitting applications are developed. Comments can be submitted online here. (2/25/15)
Standard and distress terminations and missing participants forms and instructions: OMB has approved revisions to the standard and distress termination forms and instructions. The new forms and instructions can be found on the Plan Terminations page of PBGC's website. Under the revisions, a plan administrator of a plan terminating in a standard termination (or a distress termination that closes out in the private sector) must submit with the post-distribution certification the most recent plan document and proof of benefit distributions for lump sums paid and annuities purchased. Plan administrators must provide this information with any post-distribution certification filed on or after March 1, 2015. Filers may contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. (1/29/15)
Section 4062(e) Developments: PBGC has announced the end of the six-month moratorium on the enforcement of ERISA Section 4062(e). Major revisions to the law were enacted late last year as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015. PBGC described some of those changes in "Important Changes to ERISA Section 4062(e)." (01/22/15)
Premium Rates for Multiemployer Plans: The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 increased the 2015 flat-rate premium for multiemployer plans (from $13 to $26 per participant). The "Premium Rates" webpage has been updated to reflect this increase. (01/14/15)
2015 premiums. On January 12, 2015, PBGC submitted to OMB for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act draft forms and instructions for 2015 premium filings. Included in the OMB submission is a supporting statement addressing, among other things, public comments received on new questions related to certain lump sum windows and annuity purchases. Comments are due to OMB by February 11, 2015. Information on how to comment is included in the related Federal Register notice. (01/13/15)
Rollovers final rule. On November 25, 2014, PBGC published a final rule that amends PBGC's valuation and benefit payments regulations to clarify the treatment of benefits resulting from a rollover distribution from a defined contribution plan to a defined benefit plan, where the defined benefit plan is terminated and trusteed by PBGC. Under the final rule, a benefit resulting from rollover amounts generally will be in the second highest priority of the asset allocation among various classes of benefits and generally will not be subject to PBGC's maximum guarantee or phase-in limitations. (11/25/14)
Benefit Restrictions - Present Value of PBGC Maximum Guarantee: On October 28, 2014, PBGC posted a table showing the applicable present values for 2015 plan years. For more information see Technical Update 07-04. (10/30/14)
Maximum Guarantee: On October 27th, 2014, PBGC announced that the annual maximum guaranteed benefit for a 65-year-old retiree in a single-employer plan increases to $60,136 for 2015, up from $59,318 for 2014. A table showing amounts for other ages is available on the PBGC's website. (10/28/14)
2015 Premium Rates: The "Premium Rates" webpage has been updated to show premium rates for 2015. (10/24/2014)
Technical Update on effect of HATFA on 4010 filing. On October 17, 2014, PBGC issued Technical Update 14-2, which provides guidance on the effect of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HATFA) on annual financial and actuarial information reporting under section 4010 of ERISA and part 4010 of PBGC's regulations. (10/17/14)
Premium Payments to PBGC: To help ensure that premium payments are quickly and accurately posted to plan accounts, we have the following requests: (10/08/14)
- If you prefer to pay at the same time that you submit your e-filing via My PAA, you can securely enter your payment information (e.g., your account number and bank routing code) when you are offered the payment screen. This will enable PBGC to pull the payment from your designated account.
- If you prefer to pay separately from your filing, you can securely submit your payment electronically via www.Pay.gov without incurring any additional cost. When you go to the Pay.gov website, you should proceed to the PBGC Premium Insurance Payments form to enter your payment information (e.g., the plan's Employer Identification and Plan Number (EIN/PN), your account number and bank routing code). This will enable the U.S. Treasury Department to pull the payment from your designated account.
- If you prefer to pay by other methods (e.g., check), be sure to enter the plan's EIN/PN and Plan Year Commencement Date (PYC) on the payment. If this is not present on the payment, we will be unable to determine who made the payment and will send a bill for unpaid premium.
- If you have any questions, please contact our premium representatives at email@example.com or 1-800-736-2444 and select the "premium" option.
Technical Update on effect of HATFA on premium filings. On September 24, 2014, PBGC issued Technical Update 14-1, which provides guidance on the effect of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HATFA) on PBGC premiums. (09/24/14)
PBGC.gov has new navigation features. As pension plan practitioners, you’re important customers to PBGC, and we want to ensure you have the best experience while using PBGC.gov. We’d like to highlight some recent improvements to our site that we hope will help you find what you’re looking for.
- First, we now have drop-down menus on the top navigation bars on every page on PBGC.gov, which are becoming an industry best practice on sites like WhiteHouse.gov and others. On the PBGC.gov home page, you’ll see arrows next to Workers & Retirees, Practitioners, and About PBGC. Hover over those arrows to find additional links to the most popular pages for those areas.
- Second, we developed a fully automated A-Z index and are promoting it on every page on our site. The index includes all of our web pages, including the individual “home pages” for each of our trusteed plans. Users who know the name of their plan can now either search or use our A-Z index to get where they need to be.
- Third, we removed the “Resources” section of our website, and distributed the information into the more relevant Practitioners and About PBGC categories.
Our blog, Retirement Matters, continues to be one of the best ways to stay up to date with PBGC and our work to ensure retirement security. To be notified when we post new entries, you can subscribe to the blog, Retirement Matters. We welcome your feedback on these changes. Please direct your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the volume of emails, we regret that we may not be able to respond to each individually. (08/04/14)
Multiemployer Plans; Valuation and Notice Requirements Final Rule. On May 28, 2014, PBGC published a final rule amending PBGC's multiemployer regulations. The changes were developed as a result of PBGC's regulatory review. The amendments reduce the number of actuarial valuations required for certain small terminated but not insolvent plans, shorten the advance notice filing requirements for mergers in situations that do not involve a compliance determination, and remove certain insolvency notice and update requirements. (05/28/14)
Shutdown benefits final rule. On May 6, 2014, PBGC published a final rule amending its benefit payment regulation to implement the Pension Protection Act of 2006 provision that the phase-in period for PBGC's guarantee of benefits contingent upon the occurrence of an "unpredictable contingent event," such as a plant shutdown, starts no earlier than the date of the event. Under the statute, the change applies to benefits that become payable as a result of an event that occurs after July 26, 2005. The regulation includes examples that show how the phase-in rules apply to PBGC benefits in various situations. (05/06/14)
Standard and distress terminations and missing participants forms and instructions. OMB has approved revisions to the standard termination, distress termination, and missing participants forms and instructions. The new forms and instructions can be found on the Plan Terminations page of PBGC's website. The new forms must be used for terminations for which the first Notice of Intent to Terminate is issued on or after June 1, 2014. If the first Notice of Intent to Terminate is issued before June 1, 2014, either the new or old forms may be used. (04/24/14)
My PAA ready for 2014 Premium Filings. My PAA has been updated to reflect recent changes to the premium regulation (first effective for 2014 plan years) as described in the 2014 premium filing instructions. Comprehensive filings for plan years beginning in 2014 may now be electronically submitted via My PAA. Information about how to e-file via My PAA (e.g., Demos and FAQs) is on the Online Premium Filing with My PAA page of our website. A reminder that the new rules have no impact on premium filings for plan years beginning in 2013 (e.g., small calendar plans whose 2013 premium filing is due April 30th, 2014). (04/17/2014)
2014 premium filings. OMB has approved the 2014 premium filing instructions consistent with PBGC's recent final rule making its premium regulations more effective and less burdensome. The web pages showing premium due dates and interest rates used to determine the variable-rate premium have been updated to reflect the new regulations. My PAA is being modified to reflect the changes and will be ready to accept 2014 filings shortly. PBGC will post a "What's New" item when My PAA is ready for 2014 filings. (04/15/2014)
Rollovers proposed rule. On April 2, 2014, PBGC published a proposed rule that would amend PBGC's valuation and benefit payments regulations to clarify the treatment of benefits resulting from a rollover distribution from a defined contribution plan to a defined benefit plan, where the defined benefit plan is terminated and trusteed by PBGC. Under the proposed rule, a benefit resulting from rollover amounts generally would be in the second highest priority of the asset allocation among various classes of benefits and would not be subject to PBGC's maximum guarantee or phase-in limitations. Comments on the proposed rule are due June 2, 2014. (04/02/2014)
Premium final rule. On March 11, 2014, PBGC published a final rule addressing the rest of its July 2013 proposal to make its premium rules more effective and less burdensome, starting 2014. (PBGC addressed one part of the proposal in January 2014 by eliminating the early due date for large plans' flat-rate premiums.) This final rule changes the due date for small plans, generally requires small plans to base the variable-rate premium on prior year data, coordinates the due date for terminating plans with the termination process, and expands premium penalty relief. PBGC has submitted the 2014 premium payment instructions (including illustrative forms) to OMB. PBGC will make My PAA available for 2014 filings after OMB approves the instructions. PBGC expects My PAA will be available for 2014 filings well before the first filing deadline for 2014 (October 15, 2014). Until then, PBGC is not accepting 2014 filings. (03/11/2014)
Multiemployer Plans; Notice and Valuation Requirements Proposed Rule. On January 29, 2014, PBGC published a proposed rule that would implement changes to PBGC's multiemployer regulations. The changes were developed as a result of PBGC's regulatory review. The proposal would reduce the number of actuarial valuations required for certain small terminated but not insolvent plans, shorten the advance notice filing requirements for mergers in situations that do not involve a compliance determination, and remove certain insolvency notice and update requirements. Comments on the proposed rule are due March 31, 2014. (01/29/2014)
Premium final rule. On January 3, 2014, PBGC published a final rule moving the flat-rate premium due date for large single employer and multiemployer plans (500 or more participants) to the variable-rate premium due date for single-employer plans, starting with the 2014 plan year. Thus, large calendar-year plans' 2014 flat-rate premiums will be due October 15, 2014, instead of February 28, 2014. This rule finalizes part of a proposed rule that would simplify premium due dates, coordinate the premium due date for terminating plans with the termination process, make conforming and clarifying changes to the variable-rate premium rules, give small plans more time to value benefits, provide for relief from penalties, and make other changes. PBGC expects to publish a final rule addressing the rest of the proposed rule, post the 2014 premium payment instructions (including illustrative forms), and make My PAA available for 2014 filings well before the first filing deadline of October 15, 2014. Until then, PBGC is not accepting 2014 filings. (01/03/2014)