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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 Datesort descending Agency Identifier Topics Summary Posted Date
Opinion Letter 86-17 8-13-1986 PBGC Op Let 86-17 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Partial Withdrawal Addresses whether a partial withdrawal occurs when an employer outsources work to a third party. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 86-20 9-29-1986 PBGC Op Let 86-20 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses abatement rules for employers that reenter a multiemployer plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 86-21 9-29-1986 PBGC Op Let 86-21 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses (1) how withdrawal liability should be assessed when the contributing employer is a partnership, and (2) whether an employer continues to perform work of the type and jurisdiction covered by a collective bargaining agreement for purposes of determining whether a withdrawal has occurred. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 86-22 10-14-1986 PBGC Op Let 86-22 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Provides that PBGC approval is not required for a multiemployer plan to adopt a different statutory allocation method for unfunded vested benefits. However, PBGC approval is required for the adoption of an alternative allocation method (i.e. any method other than the four statutory methods). 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 86-23 10-15-1986 PBGC Op Let 86-23 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Withdrawal Liability Addresses abatement when a contributing employer withdraws and then acquires a division of a company that contributions to the same plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 86-24 10-31-1986 PBGC Op Let 86-24 Multiemployer, Unfunded vested benefits, Withdrawal Liability Addresses (1) whether vested ancillary benefits may be included in the calculation of unfunded vested benefits; (2) the meaning of "nonforfeitable benefit"; (3) what actuarial assumptions may be used to calculate unfunded vested benefits. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 86-27 12-17-1986 PBGC Op Let 86-27 Termination PBGC disapproves proposed plans that an employer wishes to adopt because they would effect an impermissible continuation of terminated plans for which guaranteed benefits are being paid. 3-5-2020
Opinion Letter 86-28 12-31-1986 PBGC Op Let 86-28 Benefit guarantee PBGC deducts an annuity purchase when calculating a participant’s maximum guaranteed benefit. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-01 1-23-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-01 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Bankruptcy Addresses the circumstances under which a bankruptcy proceeding may give rise to withdrawal liability. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-02 1-28-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-02 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, sale of assets Addresses the definition of the term “assets” for the purpose of the sale-of-assets exception to withdrawal. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-04 2-26-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-4 Termination, Suspension For PBGC to suspend a plan termination, PBGC must be advised timely and in writing that a formal challenge has been initiated asserting that the termination violates an existing collective bargaining agreement. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-06 7-15-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-6 Termination All affected parties may submit comments to PBGC on a proposed distress termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-05 7-19-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-05 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Construction industry Addresses the definition of withdrawal for a construction industry employer. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-08 8-14-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-08 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses whether a contributing employer to a multiemployer plan withdraws by subcontracting out its work to another contributing employer such that contributions are unaffected. 2-21-2020
Opinion Letter 87-10 9-15-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-10 Termination, Suspension PBGC suspended the processing of a plan termination following receipt of a letter from a union that the termination of the plan violated the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-11 10-22-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-11 Termination, Allocation of assets Plan assets must be allocated in succession to the benefits described in each of the six priority categories established by statute. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-12 10-27-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-12 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Transfer of liability Addresses effects on withdrawal liability of a proposed transfer of benefit liabilities from a multiemployer plan to a single-employer plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-13 11-23-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-13 Multiemployer, Merger, Bargaining representative Addresses issues concerning the merger of a multiemployer defined benefit plan with a defined contribution plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-01 1-11-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-01 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, sale of assets Addresses the method of calculating the withdrawal liability of a purchaser of the assets of an unrelated contributing employer. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-03 3-22-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-03 Multiemployer, Plan amendment Addresses the legal effect of PBGC approval of a multiemployer plan amendment. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-02 3-22-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-02 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, sale of assets, Construction industry Addresses applicability to construction industry employers of the sale-of-assets limitation on withdrawal liability. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-04 3-25-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-4 Premiums A PBGC premium must be paid for a participant in a plan even though no contributions for that participant to the plan are required because of a floor offset arrangement. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-06 4-1-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-06 Multiemployer, Bargaining representative Addresses the required transfer of assets and benefit liabilities following a change in the collective bargaining representative of a group of employees who then participate in another multiemployer plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-05 4-1-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-05 Multiemployer, Reallocation liability, Mass Withdrawal Addresses the relevance of events occurring after a plan’s reallocation record date on the reallocation liability calculation. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-08 5-2-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-08 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Withdrawal, Construction industry Addresses determining the date of a construction industry employer's withdrawal from a multiemployer plan in the context of a labor dispute. 2-28-2020