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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 Identifier Topics Summary Posted Datesort descending
Opinion Letter 75-58 10-3-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-58 Coverage The fact that a benefit formula may be modified by a plan amendment does not alter the defined benefit nature of the plan.  If the plan is amended to convert it to an individual account plan, it would be treated as terminated. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 83-21 9-8-1983 PBGC Op Let 83-21 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Construction industry Addresses the definition of the term "building and construction industry" for purposes of the construction industry exception to withdrawal. 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 76-41 3-22-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-41 Reportable events Closing plant covering 6% of the employees in the plan is not a reportable event. Failure to pay benefits when due would be a reportable event. 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 75-10 4-8-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-10 Coverage, Individual account plan Individual account plan exemption from coverage. 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 82-17 5-26-1982 PBGC Op Let 82-17 Multiemployer, Withdrawal, Sale of stock Discusses whether the sale of stock constitutes a withdrawal from a multiemployer plan and whether the sale of assets rule applies. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 79-06 4-10-1979 PBGC Op Let 79-6 Coverage, Governmental plan Plan of an entity chartered by the US Congress does not meet the Governmental plan coverage exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-43 3-25-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-43 Excess assets Absence of provision in plan allowing reversion of excess plan assets to the employer means that the requirements for reversion of excess assets to employer not met. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-53 12-4-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-53 Coverage, Nonresident aliens Plan is governed by laws of Virgin Islands. Plan is not a qualified plan and is exempt from coverage under Title IV. 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 82-15 4-30-1982 PBGC Op Let 82-15 Multiemployer, Transfer of assets and liabilities Addresses the rules governing the transfer of assets from multiemployer plan to single-employer plan; addresses the withdrawal liability consequences of transferring assets to a single employer plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-15 5-28-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-15 Termination PBGC accepted the withdrawal of a plan’s notice of intent to terminate because employers would continue to make contributions pursuant to their collective bargaining agreements and the plan participants would continue to receive credit under the plan for service with contributing employers. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-03 11-14-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-3 Coverage, Individual account plan Title IV excludes a defined benefit plan to the extent it is treated as an Individual account plan under 1002(35)(B). 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-23 12-18-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-23 Coverage A plan maintained by a union and funded only by contributions from union members is not covered under Title IV 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-61 4-30-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-61 Coverage, Professional service employer plan A physician-owned company is a professional service employer plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-40 12-9-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-40 Coverage, Governmental plan Plan does not meet the Governmental plan coverage exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-24 8-21-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-24 Residual assets Addresses the distribution of residual assets to an employer. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-13 1-6-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-13 Coverage, Individual account plan Individual account plan is exempt from coverage 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-160 8-30-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-160 Allocation of assets Following plan terms, the plan may be charged for reasonable termination-related expenses for which the plan is responsible. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-27 12-2-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-27 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Pre-MPPAA withdrawals Discusses how pre-MPPAA withdrawals affect the calculation of the annual withdrawal liability payment. 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
Opinion Letter 76-117 11-3-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-117 Termination No plan termination occurred when subsidiaries ended plan participation. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-15 1-24-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-15 Coverage, defined contribution plans Defined contribution plans are not covered plans under Title IV. 2-28-2020