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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 ascending
4262 IFR Final Posted 7-9-2021 PBGC SFA 21-01 Multiemployer, Special financial assistance Sets forth the requirements for special financial assistance applications and related restrictions and conditions pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. 7-9-2021
SFA Assumptions Guidance 7-9-2021 PBGC SFA 21-02 Multiemployer, Special financial assistance Provides guidelines for changes to certain assumptions that multiemployer plans may use for purposes of determining eligibility for special financial assistance (SFA) and the amount of SFA. 7-9-2021
Extended Due Date for Inclusion of Prior Year Contributions 9-23-2020 PBGC TU 20-2 Premiums This Technical Update provides guidance and relief related to the timing of contribution receipts includable in the asset value used to determine variable rate premiums due in 2020. 9-23-2020
PBGC to Expand COVID-19 Relief, Support Economic Recovery 9-21-2020 PBGC PR 20-04 Premiums

Announcement of relief that will generally enable plan sponsors to take advantage of the CARES Act contribution due date extension and still ultimately pay the same variable-rate premium they would have owed had those contributions been made by the regular contribution due date.

COVID-19-Related Single-Employer Plan Sponsors and Administrators Questions and Answers 7-20-2020 PBGC Web 016 Reportable events, Premiums, Termination, Early Warning Answers questions related to plan sponsor obligations and PBGC operations in light of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the COVID-19 pandemic. 7-20-2020
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
Increased Guarantee Limit for Multiemployer Plans 12-26-2000 PBGC TU 00-7 Multiemployer, Benefit guarantee Discusses how the PBGC's maximum guarantee limit works under the multiemployer insurance program and explains an increase in maximum guarantee limit for participants in multiemployer plans. 2-28-2020
Present Value of the Maximum PBGC Guaranteed Benefit under IRC Section 436(d)(3)(A)(ii) and ERISA Section 206(g)(3)(C)(i)(II) 12-17-2007 PBGC TU 07-4 Present value, Benefit guarantee Guidance on determining the present value of the maximum benefit guaranteed by PBGC. 2-28-2020
Simplified Methods for Applying the Requirement to Disregard Benefit Reductions in Determining Withdrawal Liability - Multiemployer Pension Plans - Pension Protection Act of 2006 7-15-2010 PBGC TU 10-3 PPA, Multiemployer, Unfunded vested benefits, Withdrawal Liability Provides simplified methods for the application of the statutory requirement that multiemployer plans in critical status disregard certain benefit reductions in determining the plan's unfunded vested benefits for purposes of determining an employer's withdrawal liability under section 4201 of ERISA. 2-28-2020
Multiemployer Plans - Clarification of Schedule R (Form 5500) Instructions and Partial Reporting Relief for 2009 6-8-2010 PBGC TU 10-1 Annual reporting Clarifies the Line 14 Instructions for the Schedule R (Form 5500) and provides partial reporting relief for completing Line 14 for the 2009 plan year. 2-28-2020
Minimum Lump Sum Assumptions for Single-Employer Plans that Terminate in a Plan Year Beginning on or After January 1, 2008 12-31-2008 PBGC TU 08-4 Standard termination, PPA, Lump sum Expands on guidance in Technical Update 07-3 on lump sum valuation issues for single-employer plans that terminate in a standard termination. Applies to plans that terminate on or after the effective date of certain amendments to the law as enacted by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA 2006) concerning how to apply the PPA 2006 changes in the interest rate and mortality table used in calculating minimum lump sum amounts. 2-28-2020
Minimum Lump Sum Assumptions for Terminating Single-Employer Plans; Effect of Pension Protection Act of 2006 12-3-2007 PBGC TU 07-3 Lump sum, Standard termination Guidance on lump sum valuation issues for single-employer plans that terminate in a standard termination with a termination date prior to, and a final distribution date on or after, the effective date of changes in the interest rate and mortality table used in calculating minimum lump sum values under the Pension Protection Act. 2-28-2020
PBGC Premium Filings for CSEC Plans for 2019 and 2020 Plan Years 1-3-2020 PBGC TU 20-1 Premiums Guidance for cooperative and small-employer charity (CSEC) plans on filing premiums for 2019 and 2020 plan years that reflect the premium changes under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act). 2-28-2020
Frequently Asked Questions About ERISA 4062(e) 12-6-2019 PBGC Web 002 Substantial cessation of operations Answers common questions on liability and notice requirements following a substantial cessation of operations. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-38 11-18-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-38 Termination Initial determination that notice of intent to terminate not valid where not issued by plan administrator, where company argued it was de facto plan administrator but plan clearly identified board to be created as plan administrator. 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 75-106 11-14-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-106 Coverage, Individual account plan Plan is not an Individual account plan because it does not provide for individual accounts for each participant. Plan is covered under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 82-20 7-27-1982 PBGC Op Let 82-20 Multiemployer A letter of credit can satisfy the bond or escrow requirement of the trucking industry exemption from withdrawal liability. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-25 10-11-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-25 Asset reversion, Termination Implementation guidelines do not generally apply to a transfer of assets from a single-employer plan to a multiemployer plan, followed by the termination of the single-employer plan, but because plan termination is a prerequisite to a reversion of plan assets to an employer, PBGC will not recognize a plan termination when it is intended as a means to recover surplus plan assets without satisfying termination requirements. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-161 8-30-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-161 Allocation of assets, Substantial owners plan A proposal to allocate post termination gains in plan assets to increase a participant’s benefits is not permissible. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-131 2-11-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-131 Employer liability PBGC examines financial information of an employer and all trades or businesses under the same common control to assess the employer’s hardship or necessity for deferred payments to meet liability. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 97-01 5-5-1997 PBGC Op Let 97-01 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses whether foreign entities that are part of a controlled group are jointly liable for withdrawal liability. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-26 11-22-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-26 Benefit guarantee Employees that are eligible for retirement but continue to work for a new employer after a company purchases it are not treated as retirees. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 78-10 6-22-1978 PBGC Op Let 78-10 Employer liability, Successor liability Whether an employer that purchased a division of another company and rehired its employees would be treated as a successor corporation and assume liability for existing plans. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-20 1-24-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-20 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Licensed veterinarians are “licensed practitioners of the healing arts” for purposes of the Professional Service Employer plan exemption. 2-28-2020