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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.

Titlesort descending Issuance Date Agency Identifier Topics Summary Posted Date
Opinion Letter 75-54 6-23-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-45 Coverage Title IV does not cover deposits made into a Keogh Trust. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-55 11-10-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-55 Coverage, plan document A plan without a written plan document is not a qualified plan and is excluded from coverage. 2-28-2020
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 75-78 12-3-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-78 Premiums A plan that established itself and had its first plan year end on the same day must pay partial premiums for that plan year. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-85 9-11-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-85 Defined benefit plan A plan where participants are eligible for benefits as calculated from time to time by an actuary is a defined benefit plan providing basic benefits. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-89 8-7-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-89 Coverage, Individual account plan, Termination Conversion from a covered plan to an individual account plan is a termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-90 10-6-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-90 Reportable events Transfer of plan assets to another plans is a reportable event. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-91 7-15-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-91 Benefit reduction, Reportable events A reduction in benefits is not considered a plan termination but is a reportable event. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-03 1-8-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-3 Termination, Allocation of assets Plan administrator must allocate assets to participant receiving early retirement benefits and may not allocate assets to participants whose benefit claims had been fully satisfied prior to termination of plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-07 1-14-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-7 Coverage, Individual account plan Title IV does not cover Individual account plans or welfare plans. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-09 1-14-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-9 Controlled groups Discusses considerations PBGC would apply in determining whether parent-subsidiary group created a single plan or multiple separate plans managed under a single trust. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-103 8-23-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-103 Benefit guarantee, Death benefits PBGC’s position on guaranty of death benefit. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-106 9-3-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-106 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Physician-secretary is a Professional Service Employer plan exempt from Title IV coverage. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-107 9-7-1975 PBGC Op Let 76-107 Termination, Allocation of assets Allocation of assets of terminating plan otherwise than in accordance with section 4044 is not allowed. Transfer of asset to a defined contribution plan requires that all participants be offered option for immediate receipt of their benefits. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-109 9-14-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-109 Coverage A trust under a plan must be "created or organized" in the "United States" and be "maintained at all times as a 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-11 1-20-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-11 Reportable events Transfer of plan assets to another plan does not require PBGC approval, but it is a reportable event requiring notification. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-111 9-16-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-111 Employer liability Asset purchaser assuming some plans was not a successor corporation for plans that it did not assume. 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 76-114 10-1-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-114 Reportable events Elimination of a death benefit is a reportable event. 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 76-118 11-8-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-118 Coverage, tax qualification Once a plan is determined to be qualified by IRS, it is qualified for purposes of Title IV until qualification is revoked. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-119 11-15-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-119 Residual assets Because plan does not provide for reversion of excess assets to sponsor, residual assets must be distributed to plan participants and their beneficiaries, pro rata, in relation to their accrued benefits. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-12 1-27-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-12 Individual account plan Amendment of a plan from a defined benefit plans to an individual account plan results in the plan’s termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-121 12-22-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-121 Reportable events The reduction in the number of plan participants is a reportable event. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-17 2-5-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-17 Benefit guarantee Discusses benefit guaranty and its limits for a retiree receiving monthly benefits from an ongoing plan. 2-28-2020