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Technical Update 97-6: Waiver for Small Employer Reporting of Missed Quarterly Contributions

Technical Update Number:

Note: This Technical Update 97-6 has been updated by section III.B. of Technical Update 06-4, August 30, 2006 (revised September 28, 2006).

Pursuant to section 4043.4(d) of its reportable events regulation (29 CFR 4043.4(d)), the PBGC is waiving reporting for small employers described in this technical update who fail to make quarterly contributions due on or after January 1, 1998, for 1997 or later plan years. The PBGC also is granting relief for earlier missed quarterly contributions as described below.

Section 4043 of ERISA generally requires a plan administrator or contributing sponsor to notify the PBGC no later than 30 days after a reportable event occurs. On December 2, 1996, the PBGC published a final reportable events regulation (29 CFR Part 4043; 61 Fed. Reg. 63988) that, among other things, requires a plan administrator or contributing sponsor to provide notice to the PBGC when a quarterly installment or other payment required under the funding rules of section 302 of ERISA or section 412 of the Code is not made by the due date for the payment. See 29 CFR § 4043.25. The report is due 30 days after the payments due date if the payment still has not been made.

A number of small employers requested waivers from reporting or an extension of the reporting deadline because of the volatility of their year-to-year required contributions. To ease reporting burdens for small employers for the 1996 and 1997 plan years, the PBGC issued Technical Update 97-4 (May 8, 1997) simplifying reporting of missed quarterly contributions.

Under the special filing relief granted by Technical Update 97-4, certain employers were permitted to file one notice covering certain missed quarterly contributions. After analyzing the filings received under this special filing relief, the PBGC has found that it is appropriate to waive the reporting for missed quarterly contributions due on or after January 1, 1998, for 1997 or later plan years for these employers. In addition, the PBGC will treat this waiver as applying to missed quarterly contributions described in Technical Update 97-4.

Technical Update 97-6 applies to all plans that satisfy one of the following two conditions:

(1) The employer had 100 or fewer participants in its defined benefit plans; or

(2) The employer had 500 or fewer participants in its defined benefit plans and a Participant Notice for the plan under section 4011 of ERISA (a) was not required for the plan year for which the quarterly contribution is owed or (b) was not required for the prior plan year.

The number of participants must be determined in a manner consistent with section 302(d)(6) of ERISA, including the provisions requiring aggregation of all defined benefit plans maintained by the same employer (or any member of the employers controlled group). To qualify for the waiver, the employer must have met the applicable participant count requirement on each day of the plan year preceding the plan year for which the quarterly contribution is owed.

This waiver does not affect the requirement to notify the PBGC of any other missed contribution or other reportable event under section 4043 of ERISA (including notice of a plans inability to pay benefits when due under 29 CFR § 4043.26). In addition, the waiver does not affect the requirement to file the Form 200 if the aggregate unpaid balance of any required payments, including interest, exceeds $1 million. See 29 CFR § 4043.81.

The instructions to PBGC Form 10 explain how reportable event notices should be filed. To obtain a copy of the Form 10, you may download it from PBGCs Web Site:

Reportable Events Forms

or contact:

Reports Processing
Insurance Operations Department
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20024-2101
Telephone: (202) 229-4000

For TTY/TDD users, call the federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to (202) 229-4000.