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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 ascending Issuance Date Agency Identifier Topics Summary Posted Date
Opinion Letter 90-02 4-20-1990 PBGC Op Let 90-02 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses (1) the calculation of annual withdrawal liability payments where an employer contributes to a multiemployer plan under multiple collective bargaining agreements requiring different contribution rates (the "contract-by-contract" approach); (2) using the contract-by-contract approach to calculate an employer's required contribution rate following plan termination by amendment; (3) whether alternate interest rates may be used to calculate the value of benefits under the plan following a mass withdrawal; (4) the correction of prior errors in valuation when calculating withdrawal liability. 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 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 89-09 11-28-1989 PBGC Op Let 89-9 Coverage, Tribal plan Plan does not meet Title IV coverage exemption since activities covered by the plan were off-reservation commercial activities carried on for profit. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 89-08 10-19-1989 PBGC Op Let 89-08 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses whether an employer may contractually modify its statutory withdrawal liability obligation to a multiemployer plan by assuming "additional liability", and the limitations of such a modification. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 89-06 8-8-1989 PBGC Op Let 89-6 Coverage, Individual account plan Individual account plan exemption from coverage. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 89-05 8-1-1989 PBGC Op Let 89-05 Multiemployer, Termination, Withdrawal Liability This opinion letter addresses whether an QPSAs and other benefits are nonforfeitable after termination of a multiemployer plan such that they should be considered in determining withdrawal liability. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 89-03 4-18-1989 PBGC Op Let 89-03 Multiemployer, Mass Withdrawal, Reallocation liability Addresses whether, based on an employer's date of withdrawal, that employer is subject to reallocation liability in the event of a mass withdrawal termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 89-02 2-14-1989 PBGC Op Let 89-02 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Reciprocity agreement Addresses (1) whether transfers of contributions between multiemployer plans under a reciprocity agreement are covered by rules on transfers of assets; and (2) whether a reciprocity agreement can create withdrawal liability obligations. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 89-01 2-8-1989 PBGC Op Let 89-1 Asset reversion PBGC’s position requiring distribution of assets as soon as practicable after PBGC’s 60-day review does not apply to surplus assets when there is a dispute concerning distribution. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-10 12-12-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-10 Benefit guarantee PBGC recognizes pension credits for discharged employees found to have been illegal discharged and reinstated for the period after the illegal discharge and ending with the date of plan termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-09 12-6-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-9 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Original plan is a Title IV covered plan. Successor plan is also a Title IV covered plan. Successor plan does not qualify as an exempt plan under the Professional Service plan exemption even though successor plan has fewer than 25 employees. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-08 5-2-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-08 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Withdrawal, Construction industry Addresses determining the date of a construction industry employer's withdrawal from a multiemployer plan in the context of a labor dispute. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-07 5-2-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-07 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, sale of assets Addresses the “unrelated party” requirement for the sale of assets exception to withdrawal liability. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-06 4-1-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-06 Multiemployer, Bargaining representative Addresses the required transfer of assets and benefit liabilities following a change in the collective bargaining representative of a group of employees who then participate in another multiemployer plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-05 4-1-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-05 Multiemployer, Reallocation liability, Mass Withdrawal Addresses the relevance of events occurring after a plan’s reallocation record date on the reallocation liability calculation. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-04 3-25-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-4 Premiums A PBGC premium must be paid for a participant in a plan even though no contributions for that participant to the plan are required because of a floor offset arrangement. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-03 3-22-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-03 Multiemployer, Plan amendment Addresses the legal effect of PBGC approval of a multiemployer plan amendment. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 88-02 3-22-1988 PBGC Op Let 88-02 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, sale of assets, Construction industry Addresses applicability to construction industry employers of the sale-of-assets limitation on withdrawal liability. 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 87-13 11-23-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-13 Multiemployer, Merger, Bargaining representative Addresses issues concerning the merger of a multiemployer defined benefit plan with a defined contribution plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 87-12 10-27-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-12 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Transfer of liability Addresses effects on withdrawal liability of a proposed transfer of benefit liabilities from a multiemployer plan to a single-employer 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 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 87-08 8-14-1987 PBGC Op Let 87-08 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses whether a contributing employer to a multiemployer plan withdraws by subcontracting out its work to another contributing employer such that contributions are unaffected. 2-21-2020