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Guidance Document Database

The documents listed below are PBGC’s guidance documents, as defined by EO 13891, sec. 2(b), see Federal Register Notice. 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. PBGC will only cite, use, or rely on any guidance that is not posted in this database to establish historical facts.

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 GuidanceComments@pbgc.gov or at Regulatory Affairs Division, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Office of the General Counsel, 1200 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005–4026. For additional information, see PBGC’s procedures for guidance documents.

Titlesort descending Issuance Date Agency Identifier Topics Summary Posted Date
Opinion Letter 76-91 7-9-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-91 Individual account plan A plan amendment that preserves a defined benefit does not allow a plan to fit under the individual account exemption from coverage. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-93 7-23-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-93 Disability benefits Disability benefits that become payable after the date of plan termination are not guaranteed. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-95 8-21-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-95 Coverage, Governmental plan Employer created by state law is a political subdivision of state with authority to tax. Plan meets the Governmental plan exemption from coverage. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-96 8-2-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-96 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Employer is an association of medical doctors, principal business is administrative in nature. Plan does not meet the Professional Service Employer plan exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-124 1-21-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-124 Premiums, Refund, Termination PBGC did not issue a premium refund for plan that it found was not terminated. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-126 2-3-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-126 Coverage, Governmental plan Plan maintained pursuant to a contract with a federal agency is a Governmental plan exempt from Title IV coverage. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-128 2-4-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-128 Coverage, Substantial owners plan The only participant entitled to be credited with service or receive a benefit under the plan has continuously fallen within the definition of a "substantial owner.” 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-129 2-9-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-129 Residual assets Each participant is entitled to a share of the excess plan assets where the plan does not provide for return of excess assets to employer upon plan termination. 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 77-136 3-29-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-136 Benefit guarantee, Disability benefits Disability benefits guaranteed where participants satisfied plan conditions necessary to receive the benefit before the date of plan termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-139 4-13-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-139 Coverage, Substantial owners plan A plan with a participant who is the sole stockholder meets the Substantial Owner exemption from plan coverage under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-140 4-15-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-140 Coverage, Governmental plan Plans maintained by instrumentalities of the Federal government are exempt from coverage under the Governmental plan coverage exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-141 4-28-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-141 Benefit guarantee Actuarially equivalent monthly benefit of a lump sum benefit is guaranteed. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-145 5-24-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-145 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Employer providing consulting services in bio-mechanics, forensic physics, traffic reconstruction, injury analysis, and automotive and traffic safety is a Professional Services Employer and is exempt under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-149 7-6-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-149 Coverage Plan covered by Railroad Retirement Act financed by contributions required under the Act is not covered by title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-150 7-1-1977 PBGC Op let 77-150 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Analytical chemistry is a professional individual for purposes of the Professional Service Employer plan exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-151 7-21-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-151 Termination, legal fees Not appropriate to charge against plan assets legal fees arising from plan termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-152 7-13-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-152 Coverage, Governmental plan Plan of municipal corporation designated by constitution as political subdivision of state and having taxing power is a Governmental plan exempt under ERISA 4021(b)(2). 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-154 7-21-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-154 Coverage “Licensed” or “registered” engineers are “public” engineers under ERISA 4021(c)(2)(B) and the plan is exempt under the Professional Service Employer plan exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-155 8-3-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-155 Coverage, tax qualification A plan operating under a favorable IRS determination letter is covered under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-156 8-5-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-156 Employer liability Where proposed language in CBA will not affect Title IV coverage, it will not prevent PBGC claim for employer liability. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 77-159 8-15-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-159 Allocation of assets An annuity contract owned by a pension plan is the plan asset, not the assets held by the insurer under the contract. Because benefits payable under the annuity contract are revocable upon termination, assets held under the contract are included in the value of the contract. 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 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 77-162 8-30-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-162 Benefit guarantee A profit-sharing benefit in the plan is nonforfeitable and a pension benefit because the plan states it may be paid as an annuity. Because PBGC guarantees and pays the benefit as an annuity, it won’t be paid in a lump sum if the plan is insufficient. 2-28-2020

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