This Technical Update explains the PBGC's ongoing efforts to improve customer service through information technology. Americans have become accustomed to using the Internet to get information, communicate, and conduct transactions at their convenience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The PBGC is committed to improving customer service - to both participants and practitioners - by allowing its customers to interact with the PBGC electronically whenever possible.
Participant Online Services
The PBGC's Web site, www.pbgc.gov, provides instructions for plan participants to contact the PBGC's Customer Service Center by telephone (toll-free 1-800-400-7242), by mail (P.O. Box 19153, Washington, DC 20036-9153). Participants who have contacted the PBGC and have not received the promised service may contact the Problem Resolution Officer for Participants at firstname.lastname@example.org
The PBGC's Web site also provides information of interest to participants:
- Participants in certain recently terminated large plans can obtain plan-specific information, including plan updates that the PBGC posts as plan developments occur.
- PBGC publications, annual reports, and fact sheets are available online.
- The PBGC's Web site includes a Pension Search Directory that people can search to find pension benefits that are owed to them. To date, this program has located more than 6,600 people owed over $21 million in pension benefits.
Online Services for Plan Professionals
The PBGC's Web site provides instructions for plan professionals to contact the PBGC's Customer Service Center for Plan Sponsors, Administrators, and Advisors by telephone (toll-free 1-800-736-2444), by mail (445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024-2101), or by email:
Premiums, Email PBGC
Coverage and Standard Terminations, email@example.com
Distress Termination, Distress@pbgc.gov
Early Warning Program, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporting Under ERISA § 4010, ERISA.email@example.com
Reportable Events, firstname.lastname@example.org
General Legal Questions, AskAnAtty@pbgc.gov
Problem Resolution Officer (Practitioners), email@example.com
The PBGC's Web site provides answers to frequently asked questions about premiums, standard terminations, and plan coverage. The PBGC Web site also provides legal information of interest to plan professionals, including PBGC regulations, Federal Register documents, Technical Updates and other guidance, PBGC Opinion Letters, and interest rate information.
Downloading PBGC Forms and Instructions
PBGC forms and instructions for both participants and plan professionals may be downloaded from the PBGC Web site www.pbgc.gov. Forms for use by participants in PBGC-administered pension plans include:
- Form 700 - Application for Pension Benefits
- Form 701 - Payee Information Form
- Form 702 - General Information Form
- Form 707 - Designation of Beneficiary (Benefits Due at Death)
- Form 708 - Designation of Annuity Beneficiary (Non Joint-and-Survivor Benefits)
- Form 709 - Plan Participation Information
- Form 710 - Application for Electronic Direct Deposit
- Form 713 - Return of Employee Contributions
- Form 714 - Surviving Spouse Election for Return of Participant Contributions
- Form 715 - Power of Attorney
- Form 717 - Monthly Payment Election Form
- Form 719 - Election to Withhold Federal Income Tax from Periodic Payments
- Form 720 - Application for Lump-Sum Payment
Forms for use by plan professionals include:
- Form 1-ES - Estimated Premium Payment
- Form 1 - Annual Premium Payment
- Schedule A - Single-Employer Plan Variable Rate Premium
- Form 1-EZ - Annual Premium Payment for Single-Employer Plans Exempt from the Variable Rate Premium
- Form 10 - Post-Event Notice of Reportable Events
- Form 10-Advance - Advance Notice of Reportable Events
- Form 200 - Notice of Failure to Make Required Contributions Over $1 Million
- Form 500 - Standard Termination Notice, Single-Employer Plan Termination
- Schedule EA-S - Certificate of Sufficiency
- Schedule REP-S - Designation of Representative
- Form 501 - Post-Distribution Certification for Standard Terminations
- Schedule MP - Missing Participant Information
- Form 600 - Distress Termination Notice of Intent to Terminate
- Schedule REP-D - Designation of Representative
- Form 601 - Distress Termination Notice, Single-Employer Plan Termination
- Schedule EA-D - Distress Termination Enrolled Actuary Certification
- Form 602 - Post-Distribution Certification for Distress Termination
The forms are available in Adobe Acrobat's portable document format (PDF), which allows you to print blank forms (Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX versions are available), but does not allow you to fill the forms out electronically. You must have the appropriate software installed in your browser in order to download and print these forms. If you do not have the software installed, you can retrieve the appropriate version of the free software for your computer by clicking on the hypertext link. All PBGC forms (other than premium forms for plan years beginning before 2001) can be downloaded and filed with the PBGC.
PBGC Premium Forms
The premium forms are in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) format. This enables the PBGC to process plan information quickly and accurately. For this reason, the PBGC cannot accept photocopies of the premium forms. The PBGC will continue to accept original premium forms as well as premium forms provided by a vendor that has received PBGC approval for a computer-generated version of the premium forms.
To achieve the best results when printing computer-generated or downloaded premium forms, use a laser or ink jet printer with resolution of 300 DPI (dots per inch) or higher, and make sure that you have adequate ink in your printer cartridge. Thermal or dot matrix (9 or 24 pin) printers are not recommended for printing these forms. Do not use any printing options, such as "Fit to Page," that may tend to enlarge or reduce the size of the image. Please make sure no part of the premium form is missing after it is printed, and make sure the forms print with the proper number of pages: the Form 1-EZ, Form 1, and Schedule A require two pages each; the Form 1-ES requires one page.
Electronic Filing of PBGC Forms
The PBGC is working to make PBGC forms available to file electronically in the future. Currently, PBGC forms (e.g. Form 1, Form 10, Form 500) are only available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
For participants in certain recently terminated large plans, the PBGC is installing online benefit calculators that will allow participants to estimate their benefits. Alternatively, these participants will be able to make online requests for more detailed benefit estimates that the PBGC will provide within 15 days. The PBGC is also working to install Customer Relations Management software that would track and coordinate all participant inquiries - by phone, fax, correspondence, or the Internet.
For practitioners, the PBGC is developing an electronic way to contact the PBGC with specific premium questions or requests for coverage determinations. Practitioners will be able to click on a menu, select a topic, and submit a detailed inquiry.
The PBGC will continue to look for ways to allow participants and practitioners to interact with the PBGC electronically, consistent with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act.
Further information about the PBGC and the benefits it guarantees is available on the PBGC Web site, www.pbgc.gov