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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 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.

Title Issuance Date Agency Identifier Topics Summary Posted Datesort descending
Opinion Letter 83-05 2-2-1983 PBGC Op Let 83-5 Restoration Conditions under which PBGC would allow a company to restore its pension plan after filing a notice to terminate. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-04 1-30-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-04 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses how to reduce withdrawal liability for liability already assessed for a previous partial withdrawal. PBGC subsequently adopted a rule addressing the issue. (See 29 CFR part 4206.) 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 80-19 11-13-1980 PBGC Op Let 80-19 Coverage, Nonresident aliens Plan meets the Nonresident Alien plan coverage exemption. All plan participants and records regarding plan located in Hong Kong. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-24 10-3-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-24 Multiemployer, Termination, annuities PBGC will not insure annuities purchased by a terminated multiemployer plan and PBGC is not authorized to pay benefits when a non-insolvent multiemployer plan terminates. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-37 11-16-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-37 Coverage, Governmental plan Plan meets the Governmental plan coverage exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 82-03 2-2-1982 PBGC Op Let 82-3 Coverage, Church plans Plan meets the Church plan coverage exemption. 2-28-2020
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 76-34 3-8-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-34 Termination, Voluntary plan termination Involuntary termination requirements in section 4042(a) do not apply to voluntary terminations under section 4041. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 86-23 10-15-1986 PBGC Op Let 86-23 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Withdrawal Liability Addresses abatement when a contributing employer withdraws and then acquires a division of a company that contributions to the same plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-110 7-15-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-110 Coverage, Individual account plan Individual account plan is exempt from coverage. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 86-15 6-30-1976 PBGC Op Let 86-15 Premiums, Coverage A fully insured plan is covered under Title IV and must pay premiums to PBGC. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-04 3-12-1981 PBGC Op let 81-4 Allocation of assets, Residual assets A plan document’s provision allowing for reversion of residual plan assets to the plan sponsor was invalid and therefore residual assets were required to be distributed to participants. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-10 9-15-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-10 Termination, Suspension PBGC suspended the processing of a plan termination following receipt of a letter from a union that the termination of the plan violated the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 00-01 1-27-2000 PBGC Op Let 00-1 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability The sponsor of a multiemployer plan, other than a plan that primarily covers employees in the building and construction industry, may adopt any of the statutory allocation methods and any of the modifications set forth in §§ 4211.12 and 4211.13, without PBGC’s approval. PBGC will not opine on whether such adoption is consistent with trustees’ fiduciary duties. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-01 1-11-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-01 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, sale of assets Addresses the method of calculating the withdrawal liability of a purchaser of the assets of an unrelated contributing employer. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 83-08 3-25-1983 PBGC Op Let 83-08 Multiemployer, Asset Sale Exception Regards a statutory provision under which a contributing employer to a multiemployer plan that sells its assets to an unrelated buyer does not withdraw from the plan if (among other things) the buyer posts a bond or escrow for 5 years and the sales contract makes the seller secondarily liable if the buyer withdraws during the 5 plan years after the sale. Addresses whether that exception to withdrawal applies if the buyer initially posts a bond for only the first two years. 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 82-01 1-19-1982 PBGC Op Let 82-1 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Pharmacist is a professional individual for purposes of the Professional Service Employer plan exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-06 4-1-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-6 Termination Plan termination date agreed to by PBGC and the company was after participants had constructive notice of termination . 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-12 5-28-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-12 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses the special partial withdrawal rule for the retail food industry, and the meaning of “retail food industry.” 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-17 11-14-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-17 Coverage, Individual account plan, Professional service employer plan Professional service employer plans and individual account plans are excluded from coverage. 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
Opinion Letter 82-39 12-20-1982 PBGC Op Let 82-39 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Dispute Resolution Addresses the determination of withdrawal liability and the procedure to dispute withdrawal liability. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 89-10 12-8-1989 PBGC Op Let 89-10 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Plan does not meet the Professional Service Employer plan exemption. Plan is covered under Title IV because number of active participants exceeds 25. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-116 12-31-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-116 Termination, Withdrawal Discusses the difference between a multiemployer plan and a multiple employer plan and the termination provisions applicable to the latter. 2-28-2020

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