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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 94-05 9-27-1994 PBGC Op Let 94-05 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Unfunded vested benefits Addresses whether the amount of a multiemployer plan’s unfunded vested benefits may be retroactively corrected when a computational error resulted in overassessment and overpayment of withdrawal liability. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-27 12-13-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-27 Coverage, Professional service employer plan PBGC could not determine that an employer engaged in services different than those specified in 4021(c) was a professional service employer. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 83-01 1-4-1983 PBGC Op Let 83-1 Investigatory authority PBGC not subject to state divorce court; PBGC’s authority is limited by the terms of title IV of ERISA and therefore the PBGC cannot submit to the state court's jurisdiction. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 92-04 6-18-1992 PBGC Op Let 92-04 Multiemployer, Asset Sale Exception Addresses variances from the bond/escrow and contract-language prerequisites to the asset sale exception to withdrawal. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-112 9-28-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-112 Benefit guarantee A participant who has completed the requisite number of years of service and has attained retirement age has a nonforfeitable vested benefit in the plan, even if he has not ended his employment as the time of plan termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 92-01 3-30-1992 PBGC Op Let 92-01 Multiemployer, Partial Withdrawal, sale of assets, Controlled groups Addresses the calculation of withdrawal liability in a situation where several members of a controlled group have an obligation to contribute to the same multiemployer pension plan and are sold or liquidated in a series of transactions. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 96-01 6-27-1996 PBGC Op Let 96-1 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Economist is a professional individual for purposes of the Professional Service Employer plan coverage exemption. 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 78-14 6-30-1978 PBGC Op Let 78-14 Coverage, Nonresident aliens Plan of an employer located in Canada that is a division of a company incorporated in the US is a foreign plan and is not covered under Title IV. 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 75-45 6-30-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-45 Coverage, Governmental plan Plan of transit system acquired by county is excluded from coverage. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 83-22 9-15-1983 PBGC Op Let 83-22 Allocation of assets Excess assets do not revert to the plan sponsor. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-70 5-24-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-70 Termination, Allocation of assets Discusses mechanics of converting defined benefit plan to an individual account plan. 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 82-22 8-3-1982 PBGC Op Let 82-22 Multiemployer, Partial Withdrawal This opinion letter addresses the meaning of the term "facility" for purposes of partial withdrawal. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-113 12-3-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-113 Coverage Plan continues to be covered under Title IV because IRS has not determined the plan is disqualified. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 82-18 6-9-1982 PBGC Op Let 82-18 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Pharmacist is a professional individual for purposes of the Professional Service Employer plan exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-33 3-5-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-33 Reportable events Plan merger constitutes a reportable event. 2-28-2020
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 90-01 3-20-1990 PBGC Op Let 90-01 Multiemployer, Asset Sale Exception, Withdrawal Liability, Secondary Liability of seller Addresses whether a withdrawal from a multiemployer plan will be triggered by various circumstances occurring after a 4204 sale of assets such as a second subsequent sale or a change in corporate structure. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-107 11-21-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-107 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Pharmacist is a professional individual for purposes of the Professional Service Employer plan exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-42 7-2-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-42 Coverage, Nonresident aliens Canadian participants are covered. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 91-07 10-1-1991 PBGC Op Let 91-07 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses the ability of an employer challenging its withdrawal liability assessment, to raise additional issues for review by the multiemployer plan, or in arbitration, after making its initial submission. 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 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