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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 GuidanceComments@pbgc.gov or at Regulatory Affairs Division, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Office of the General Counsel, 1200 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005–4026.

Title Issuance Datesort descending Agency Identifier Topics Summary Posted Date
Opinion Letter 84-01 1-4-1984 PBGC Op Let 84-1 Premiums For a plan that is being divided into 18 plans, participants should not be double counted for the purpose of premiums. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 84-04 4-20-1984 PBGC Op Let 84-4 Benefit guarantee Benefits which became vested solely on account of termination are not guaranteed. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 84-05 5-21-1984 PBGC Op Let 84-05 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, sale of assets States the conditions that must be met for the sale of assets exception to withdrawal liability to apply; buyer did not comply with the bond/escrow and sale contract requirements. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 84-06 10-25-1984 PBGC Op Let 84-6 Termination Denies a Notice of Intent to Terminate on the basis that the plan did not intend to provide for annuity purchase for actives, instead spinning them off into a new plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 84-07 12-20-1984 PBGC Op Let 84-07 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Corporate transactions Addresses whether a withdrawal would take place if a corporation transfers all of its assets to one of its divisions and whether a withdrawal occurs in the event of a stock sale if contributions to the plan continue. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 84-09 12-27-1984 PBGC Op Let 84-09 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Provides guidance on the meaning of "employer" with respect to withdrawals from multiemployer pension plans; focuses on the garment industry and in particular, the work done by the contractor and the jobber/manufacturer. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 84-08 12-27-1984 PBGC Op Let 84-08 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Construction industry Addresses whether the construction industry exception to withdrawal applies where a contractor's CBA expires, its employees do not perform any more work for which the contractor was previously required to make contributions, but the contractor subcontracts for the performance of such work. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-01 1-4-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-01 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses interest factors applicable to withdrawal liability installments paid other than quarterly.  Corrected by Opinion Letter 85-18. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-02 1-14-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-2 Plans covered A restated plan document created an aggregate of single plans and not a single pension plan, with a valid allocation of assets among those separate plans. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-05 1-30-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-05 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Construction industry Addresses whether the construction industry exception to withdrawal applies where a contractor terminates its CBA, its employees do not perform any more work for which the contractor was previously required to make contributions, but the contractor subcontracts for the performance of such work. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-03 1-30-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-03 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses the exclusion of employee contributions in withdrawal liability allocation fractions. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-04 1-30-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-04 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses how to reduce withdrawal liability for liability already assessed for a previous partial withdrawal. PBGC subsequently adopted a rule addressing the issue. (See 29 CFR part 4206.) 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-06 2-1-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-6 Premiums Each plan of an employer is obligated to pay premiums to PBGC when an individual participant actively earns service credit in multiple plans of the employer. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-07 3-4-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-7 Allocation of assets, Residual assets Termination is not subject to the spin-off/termination requirements of the implementation guidelines involving asset reversions since no assets will revert to the plan sponsor. 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
Opinion Letter 85-08 4-2-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-8 Reportable events, Employer liability, Successor liability The described spin-off is a reportable event and sales transaction principles apply to the spin-off and transfer transactions. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-09 4-5-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-9 Allocation of assets, Residual assets, Termination The purchase of participating group annuity contracts to satisfy all accrued benefits with a termination/reestablishment transaction of a plan is permissible. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-11 5-14-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-11 Asset reversion, Termination A split-up of one plan and the termination of another is not subject to the asset reversion implementation guidelines; PBGC recognizes the termination and reestablishment of a plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-12 5-28-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-12 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses the special partial withdrawal rule for the retail food industry, and the meaning of “retail food industry.” 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-14 5-28-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-14 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Joint employers Addresses the joint employer doctrine under the National Labor Relations Act and whether a company that leased employees from an outsourcing firm that was a contributing employer to a multiemployer plan, and that was required to contribute to the plan as a "joint employer" with the outsourcing firm, would be subject to withdrawal liability if its obligation to contribute permanently ceased. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-13 5-28-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-13 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Partial Withdrawal Addresses the calculation of partial withdrawal liability and why the allocation fraction uses a ratio of contribution base units as opposed to contributions. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-15 5-31-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-15 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, sale of assets, Avoidance transactions Addresses whether the rule against transactions with a principal purpose to avoid withdrawal liability can apply when a transaction meets the sale of assets exception requirements. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-16 6-3-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-16 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Partial Withdrawal Addresses whether or not an 18-month contribution holiday is a partial withdrawal. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-17 6-10-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-17 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, sale of assets Addresses whether a seller and purchaser can retroactively bring a sale of assets within the coverage of the law by posting an appropriate bond and by amending the sales contract. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-18 7-24-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-18 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Corrects opinion letter 85-1 and addresses calculation of withdrawal liability installment payments other than on a quarterly schedule. 2-28-2020

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