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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 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.

Title Issuance Datesort descending Agency Identifier Topics Summary Posted Date
Opinion Letter 76-37 3-15-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-37 Benefit guarantee Discusses how the five-year phase-in rule impacts guarantee of certain recent benefit increases and that certain early retirement supplements are not guaranteed. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-40 3-19-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-40 One plan Discusses four plans in one plan document with one trust. Sale of a unit and separation of the unit’s assets from the master trust is not a reportable event, nor a termination of one of the plans. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-41 3-22-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-41 Reportable events Closing plant covering 6% of the employees in the plan is not a reportable event. Failure to pay benefits when due would be a reportable event. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-43 3-25-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-43 Excess assets Absence of provision in plan allowing reversion of excess plan assets to the employer means that the requirements for reversion of excess assets to employer not met. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-46 4-2-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-46 Reportable events, Change from group annuity to trust fund Change in funding method does not constitute a reportable event. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-52 4-14-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-52 Sale of division, Reportable events Sale of divisions resulting in more than 20% reduction in number of plan participants is a reportable event. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-56 4-21-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-56 Coverage Plan must be communicated to eligible participants to be tax qualified and a Title IV covered plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-57 4-26-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-57 Coverage Plan has not met conditions for coverage since ERISA enacted; Title IV doesn’t apply to the termination of the plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-58 4-29-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-58 Coverage, Individual account plan Plan is an Individual account plan and is not a covered plan under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-61 4-30-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-61 Coverage, Professional service employer plan A physician-owned company is a professional service employer plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-60 4-30-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-60 Residual assets Any amendment to a terminating or terminated plan to allow a return of excess plan assets to the employer conflicts with direct statutory provisions and legislative intent. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-63 5-6-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-63 Coverage, tax qualification Plan is a pay as you go plan. Plan is not tax qualified and thus is not covered under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-69 5-19-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-69 Benefit guarantee Terminated, vested benefits are guaranteed when all conditions under the plan necessary to establish entitlement to the benefit at a specified age are satisfied even though participant has yet to attain retirement age on the date of plan termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-70 5-24-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-70 Termination, Allocation of assets Discusses mechanics of converting defined benefit plan to an individual account plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-72 5-28-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-72 Benefit guarantee Provides that because guaranteed benefits are determined at time of plan termination, a clause in a plan that provides for the cessation of benefits in pay status of participants who violate prohibitions against certain competitive employment will be determined at such time that the clause becomes applicable to a participant. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-73 6-2-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-73 Benefit guarantee Reaffirms PBGC’s prior review of its determination that a severance benefit provided by the plan is not a guaranteed benefit because it is not a benefit that is payable as an annuity or one or more payments related thereto. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-74 6-3-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-74 Coverage Plan is not an individual account plan. Plan is not be exempt from Title IV coverage. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-76 6-8-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-76 Termination Addresses a plan’s notice of intent to terminate, date of plan termination, and the ability to terminate the plan by agreement. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-85 6-21-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-85 Benefit guarantee PBGC is precluded from guaranteeing expanded benefits to which participants would become entitled to (become nonforfeitable) upon the plan’s termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 76-86 6-25-1976 PBGC Op Let 76-86 Coverage, Individual account plan Plan is not an Individual account. Plan is not exempt from Title IV 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 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 76-96 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 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