The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), enacted on March 11, 2021, allows certain financially troubled multiemployer plans to apply for "Special Financial Assistance." Upon approval of an application, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) will make a single, lump-sum payment to eligible multiemployer plans to enable them to pay benefits at plan levels.
Plans are not required to repay Special Financial Assistance, which is funded by general revenues from the U.S. Treasury.
The law requires PBGC to issue, within 120 days of enactment, regulations or guidance on the requirements and timing for applications for Special Financial Assistance. The legislation also provides:
- Temporary elective zone status and funding relief for multiemployer plans;
- Extended amortization periods and modification of the interest rate stabilization rules for single-employer plans; and
- Modifications of the eligibility requirements for the funding rules that apply to community newspaper plans and certain related plans.
As the implementation of the law moves forward, please visit this page for updates and additional information, including when plans may submit applications for Special Financial Assistance.