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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.

Title Issuance Date Agency Identifier Topics Summary Posted Date
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 75-49 11-10-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-49 Coverage, Professional service employer plan A plan maintained by an actuary with the principal business the performance of actuarial services is a professional service employer 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 74-14 11-13-1974 PBGC Op Let 74-14 Coverage, tax qualification Plans that are tax-qualified under IRC 401(a) are covered by Title IV. Plans funded by flexible annuity policies may or may not be designed to achieve a defined benefit objective. 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 77-169 11-28-1977 PBGC Op Let 77-169 Coverage, Governmental plan Participation in a plan maintained by more than one employer, some of which are not governmental entities, precludes the application of the Governmental plan exemption. 2-24-2020
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 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 76-34 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 86-15 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 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 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
Opinion Letter 75-07 5-8-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-7 Merger, Reportable events A reportable event takes place with the merger of a single employer plan into a multiemployer plan. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-20 7-15-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-20 Reportable events, Determination of plan sufficiency, Termination The sale by a parent corporation with a division that maintains a pension plan with nonforfeitable benefits which are not funded of $1 million or more of an incorporated subsidiary, irrespective of its relative size, results in a reportable event. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 85-20 8-2-1985 PBGC Op Let 85-20 Multiemployer, Asset Sale Exception Addresses bond waivers and withdrawal liability and how regulations do not apply to the liquidation bond upon seller’s liquidation. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-35 10-26-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-35 Benefit guarantee Addresses the calculation of guaranteed benefits; PBGC measures benefits using plan factors at date of plan termination. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 81-13 5-13-1981 PBGC Op Let 81-13 Coverage, Governmental plan A plan maintained by a company under contract to provide services for a Federal agency does not meet the Governmental plan coverage exemption. 2-28-2020
Opinion Letter 75-48 11-19-1975 PBGC Op Let 75-48 Coverage, Premiums Fully insured plans are required to pay premiums. 2-28-2020