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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.

Title Issuance Date Agency Identifier Topics Summary Posted Date
Opinion Letter 79-12 9-19-1979 PBGC Op Let 79-12 Coverage, Professional service employer plan State licensed planner whose company provides consulting services to assist municipal planning boards with development plans, land use studies and housing surveys is a Professional Service Employer and plan is exempt from Title IV coverage. 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 83-10 5-12-1983 PBGC Op Let 83-10 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 and the sales contract makes the seller secondarily liable if the buyer withdraws during the 5 plan years after the sale. Addresses calculation of withdrawal liability of an employer that previously sold some of its assets where, under that statutory provision, the asset sale was not a withdrawal. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-24 12-12-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-24 Coverage A plan maintained by a union and funded only by contributions from union members is not covered under Title IV 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 82-11 4-1-1982 PBGC Op Let 82-11 Restoration Whether PBGC will permit a plan to be restored after it has submitted its Notice of its Intent to Terminate. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-03 1-30-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-03 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability Addresses the exclusion of employee contributions in withdrawal liability allocation fractions. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 98-01 2-17-1998 PBGC Op Let 98-1 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Management consultant is not a professional individual for purposes of the Professional Service Employer plan coverage exemption. 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 77-168 10-27-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-168 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Employer’s principal business is the installation of cathodic protection systems, employer is not a Professional Service Employer and plan is covered under Title IV. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-46 9-23-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-46 Coverage, Governmental plan A plan sponsored by a political subdivision that has taxing power is excluded from coverage. 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 91-08 12-9-1991 PBGC Op Let 91-08 Multiemployer, Missing participants, Post-termination Distribution of Assets Addresses post-termination distribution of a multiemployer plan's assets when participants are missing. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-08 4-17-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-8 Termination, Coverage A plan did not properly terminate and does not fit the exemption from Title IV coverage for plans that do not provide for employer contributions. 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 75-104 7-8-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-104 Coverage, Professional service employer plan Licensed veterinarians are “licensed practitioners of the healing arts” for purposes of the Professional Service Employer plan exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 94-06 9-28-1994 PBGC Op Let 94-6 Plan administrator, Premiums Discusses the conditions under which a plan administrator would be subject to personal liability to cover unpaid premiums. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 79-15 11-15-1979 PBGC Op Let 79-15 Coverage; Guarantee phase-in A successor plan’s tax-qualified status cannot be attributed to another, non-qualified plan, and the phase-in of PBGC’s guarantee begins only when the plan is covered. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 83-13 6-10-1983 PBGC Op Let 83-13 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Construction industry Addresses the definition of the term "building and construction industry" for purposes of the construction industry exception to withdrawal. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-21 8-26-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-21 Termination, Implementation Guidelines Implementation Guidelines do not apply to split-up of pension plan, with subsequent termination of one plan and reversion of excess assets. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 74-10 11-8-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-10 Premiums Premiums may be paid from the plan's assets or the employer's assets. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 84-06 10-25-1984 PBGC Op Let 84-6 Termination Denies a Notice of Intent to Terminate on the basis that the plan did not intend to provide for annuity purchase for actives, instead spinning them off into a new plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 82-09 3-26-1982 PBGC Op Let 82-09 Multiemployer, Withdrawal Liability, Construction industry Addresses the definition of the term "building and construction industry" for purposes of the construction industry exception to withdrawal. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-23 3-11-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-23 Benefit guarantee Addresses ambiguities and how PBGC will resolve them in the application of the phase-in of guaranteed benefits. 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 91-01 1-14-1991 PBGC Op Let 91-1 Termination, annuities Once irrevocable commitments are purchased, PBGC no longer guarantees the benefits. 2-28-2020

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