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Guidance Document Database

The documents listed below are PBGC’s guidance documents. The contents of these documents do not have the force and effect of law, unless expressly authorized by statute or incorporated into a contract, and are not meant to bind the public in any way. These documents are intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.

If you would like to request the withdrawal or modification of an existing guidance document, please submit your request, including your contact information, to the General Counsel at or at Regulatory Affairs Division, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Office of the General Counsel, 1200 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005–4026.

Title Issuance Date Agency Identifiersort descending Topics Summary Posted Date
Assessment of Penalties for Failure to Provide Required Information (1995) 7-18-1995 60 FR 36837 Penalties, Reporting requirements Describes PBGC’s revised policy on assessing penalties for failing to timely provide required information to PBGC. 2-28-2020
Assessment of Penalties for Failure to Provide Premium-related Information (1996) 12-17-1996 61 FR 66338 Penalties, Premiums Describes the penalty for failing to timely provide required premium related information to PBGC. 2-28-2020
Assessment of Penalties for Failure to Provide Required Information (1997) 3-14-1997 62 FR 12521 Penalties, Reporting requirements, Standard termination, Distress terminations Describes the revised penalty for failing to timely provide required information to PBGC in standard terminations and sufficient distress terminations. 2-28-2020
Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution 4-12-1999 64 FR 17696 Mediation, Arbitration Provides that PBGC will use, where appropriate, alternative dispute resolution. 2-28-2020
Premium Penalty Relief - Alternative Premium Funding Target Election Relief 9-15-2011 76 FR 57082 Premiums Provides relief from certain premium penalties and in certain situations involving alternative premium funding target elections. 2-28-2020
Premium Changes Based on Recharacterization of Contributions 12-22-2011 76 FR 79714 Premiums, Recharacterization of contributions Addresses PBGC’s policy on accepting and responding to amended premium filings based on recharacterization of contributions. 2-28-2020
Requests to Review Multiemployer Plan Alternative Terms and Conditions to Satisfy Withdrawal Liability 4-4-2018 83 FR 14524 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Reviews information that PBGC finds helpful and factors that PBGC considers in reviewing multiemployer plan proposals for alternative terms and conditions to satisfy withdrawal liability. 2-28-2020
Disaster Relief 7-2-2018 83 FR 30991 Disaster relief PBGC's disaster relief is available when the Internal Revenue Service issues disaster relief for taxpayers that includes filing extensions for the Form 5500 series. Also, for premium filings no late payment interest charges will be assessed for the disaster relief period. 2-28-2020
The Effect of The Deficit Reduction Act on The Withdrawal Liability Provisions of The Multiemployer Act 3-6-1985 PBGC Multiemployer Bulletin, 3/6/1985 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Clarifies that any multiemployer plan that is not amended to adopt a non-presumptive allocation method is required to allocate unfunded vested benefits using the presumptive method. 2-28-2020
Waiver of Seller’s Bond 7-1-1981 PBGC Multiemployer Bulletin, 7/1/1981 Multiemployer, Bond sales Provides guidance on the bonding and escrow requirements imposed on employers that sell their assets. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-12 5-13-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-12 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Allocation of assets Addresses the meaning of “total amount contributed” for the purpose of the denominators in PBGC’s interim regulation on withdrawal liability alternative allocation methods. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 00-01 1-27-2000 PBGC Op Let 00-1 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability The sponsor of a multiemployer plan, other than a plan that primarily covers employees in the building and construction industry, may adopt any of the statutory allocation methods and any of the modifications set forth in §§ 4211.12 and 4211.13, without PBGC’s approval. PBGC will not opine on whether such adoption is consistent with trustees’ fiduciary duties. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 02-1 12-10-2002 PBGC Op Let 02-1 Restoration PBGC has no legal authority to terminate and then restore a pension plan in order to implement more lenient funding requirements for the successor plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 90-03 4-24-1990 PBGC Op Let 09-3 Termination, annuities Once irrevocable commitments are purchased, PBGC no longer guarantees the benefits. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 01-2 3-16-2001 PBGC Op Let 2001-2 Multiemployer, Contributing employer Addresses whether a multiemployer plan with only one remaining contributing employer continues to be a multiemployer plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-10 11-8-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-10 Premiums Premiums may be paid from the plan's assets or the employer's assets. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-14 11-13-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-14 Coverage, tax qualification Plans that are tax-qualified under IRC 401(a) are covered by Title IV. Plans funded by flexible annuity policies may or may not be designed to achieve a defined benefit objective. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-15 11-13-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-15 Coverage, tax qualification Tax qualified defined benefit plans are generally covered under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-16 11-14-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-16 Coverage Plans funded exclusively by individual insurance or annuity policies are exempt from coverage under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-17 11-14-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-17 Coverage, Individual account plan, Professional service employer plan Professional service employer plans and individual account plans are excluded from coverage. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-18 12-5-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-18 Coverage, tax qualification Plan that is tax-qualified under IRC 401(a) is covered by Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-19 12-13-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-19 Coverage A tax qualified defined benefit plan is covered. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-20 12-5-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-20 Coverage, Individual account plan Individual account plan is exempt from coverage under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-21 12-13-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-21 Coverage Profit sharing plans are excluded from coverage under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-22 11-7-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-22 Coverage, Church plans Church plan status is determined by the IRS, must get an IRS ruling on church plan status. 2-28-2020