Premium E-Filing Tips
- Preparing an E-Filing
- Completing/Submitting a My PAA Screen-Prepared or Imported Filing
- Managing Your Account
- Managing Your Plans and E-Filing Teams (Filing Coordinators Only)
- My PAA E-Mails and System Messages
- System Compatibility with My PAA
- Printing from My PAA
- Navigating My PAA
- If you are new to e-filing, start the process early (before the filing due date) so you have time to address any questions/issues that may arise. Questions can typically be answered by reviewing the Online Demos or the My PAA Detailed Users Manual.
- Save your data regularly. You will be logged out after 20 minutes of inactivity (as a security measure) and will lose any work that has not been saved.
- Attachments cannot be submitted. Instead, there are text boxes available within the e-filing itself in which explanations may be entered.
- Verify your payment method. Paying outside My PAA means that you are paying via www.pay.gov or that your payment office or bank must forward a payment to PBGC, separate from your e-filing. The filer is responsible for initiating the payment and confirming that it was forwarded to PBGC. Paying inside My PAA means that you are making an online payment to PBGC along with submitting your e-filing. PBGC is then responsible for “pulling” the payment from your account that you specify. If you want to pay via My PAA or Pay.gov, be sure to determine whether your account has an "ACH Debit Block". If so, you must provide the appropriate PBGC Company ID to your financial institution before you submit your payment (1601000606 to pay via My PAA v or 1601000603 to pay via PAA.gov) to allow PBGC to "pull" the payment from your account. Otherwise, your financial institution may reject the processing of your payment.
- Include the plan's EIN/PN and PYC on payments outside My PAA. With paper checks, include a My PAA payment voucher for automatic posting of your payment. Do not mail a printout of your e-filing.
- Use the correct mailing address if you pay by check. Use either the U.S. Postal Service address (to a P.O. Box) or the Delivery Service address (e.g., for FedEx or UPS).
- Send payments timely. If you are unable to submit your e-filing timely, be sure to have your payment office or bank forward your premium payment (outside of My PAA) to PBGC by the filing due date; and then submit your e-filing as soon as possible thereafter.
- If you need additional assistance, call 1-800-736-2444 (select the "premium" option) or send an e-mail to email@example.com. PBGC's business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, except for federal holidays.
When an e-filing is created using My PAA's data entry screens or imported into My PAA's editing screens, the e-filing is completed, signed, paid and submitted via the Filing Manager Page.
- All team members can access the Filing Manager Page by selecting the View/Manage Filing button that is next to the in-process filing on the Home Page or the Plan Page. If you can access the Filing Manager page, the filing has not been submitted.
- The Filing Manager Page consists of three primary sections:
- In the Filing Status section, you will see whether the filing is ready for submission and who is holding the filing (since only the person holding the filing can take action on the filing).
- In the Filing Task List section, you will see a View/Edit button for viewing and editing the filing or a View button for only viewing the filing, the status of each Filing Task (e.g., whether the plan administrator has signed or still must sign), and buttons for signing/paying as well as links to remove an e-signature (if you have the appropriate permissions). All filing team members can view the filing data and any warnings that may be displayed. However, in order to take action on the filing (e.g., to edit or sign the filing), you must be holding the filing.
- The Filing Team section is used to route a filing to another team member.
- All team members can view a saved filing and can see any warning messages at any time via the View/Edit Filing button (if you are holding the filing) or the View Filing button (if someone else is holding the filing).
- Only the person holding the filing can take action on the filing (e.g., edit or submit); and only one person at a time can hold and take action on a filing.
- Any e-filing team member can retrieve a filing that is being held by another team member by selecting the "Retrieve Filing" button. This is sometimes necessary if the person holding the filing is not available to route the filing for the necessary action to be taken.
- Only the filing coordinator or plan administrator/pa representative can submit a filing. In order to see the submit button(s), the submitter must be holding the filing and the filing must be complete and ready for submission. This means that all “hard” errors must be corrected and that all certifications must be completed. When a filing is successfully submitted, all of the plan’s e-filing team members will receive an email confirming the filing submission.
- Only the filing coordinator can delete a filing by selecting the "Delete Filing" button. This may be done in order to start another filing for that plan year, since only one in-process filing is allowed per plan year.
- Be careful when you set up your user ID and secret question/answer because they cannot be changed later (even if you inadvertently misspelled them).
- When setting up your account, consider that a specific e-mail address can only be used once -- for only one person's account.
- Keep your user ID, password, and secret question/answer in a secure place for ready access as you will need them for your next filing.
- If you forget your user ID or password or if your account becomes locked, select the Forgot Your User ID and/or Forgot Your Password link(s) on the My PAA Login Screen and follow the instructions. If this does not resolve the issue, call or send an e-mail to PBGC's premium representatives (see last bullet for contact information).
- To keep your My PAA account active, be sure to successfully log in to your account at least once per year. If you will no longer be involved with premium e-filing for a particular plan, ask the plan’s filing coordinator to remove you from the plan’s e-filing team (and to invite others as appropriate). If you will no longer be involved with premium e-filing for any plan, remove your account (including the plans in your account) by selecting the “My Account” link at the top of any My PAA Page and then selecting the “Deactivate My Account” button. Note that accounts that have not been used for a substantial period of time will be automatically deactivated by PBGC (after any plans are removed) to help ensure system security, in compliance with PBGC’s guidelines.
- For additional details, go to the My PAA Users Manual and view the section "Manage Your Account (Information that Can/Cannot be Changed)."
- For PBGC assistance, call 1-800-736-2444 (select the premium option) or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. PBGC's business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
If you are a plan's filing coordinator, your Home Page contains links to "add a plan" and "invite a practitioner." The Plan Page contains links to "invite a practitioner", "remove a practitioner", and edit a practitioner's permissions. The Filing Manager Page contains buttons to "delete a filing" and "submit a filing" when a My PAA screen-prepared or imported filing is in-process.
- Set up or verify your e-filing team as early as possible before the plan's premium filing due date so that there is sufficient time to make any needed changes, to confirm that all team member can access their accounts, and to resolve any unexpected issues.
- Be careful when typing in the plan name if you need to add a plan. To correct a misspelled plan name on the Home Page, you will need to submit an e-filing that is created with My PAA's data entry screens or imported into My PAA's editing screens with the corrected plan name. Note that if you use the upload method to submit your filing, a plan name change contained in the uploaded filing will not correct the plan name on the Home Page.
- Each role (including the filing coordinator role) should have multiple people assigned to help ensure smooth transitions as changes in personnel occur.
- If the filing coordinator will change, the current filing coordinator should first invite the new filing coordinator(s) and then remove himself/herself from the filing team.
- One filing coordinator can remove another filing coordinator but cannot edit another filing coordinator's permissions.
- Only a filing coordinator can delete a filing (e.g., in order to start another filing for that plan year).
- Only a filing coordinator or plan administrator/pa representative can see the submit button(s) if he/she is holding the filing and if the filing is complete and ready for submission.
- For details, view the "Manage Your Plans and e-Filing Team (Filing Coordinators Only)" section of the My PAA Users Manual. For assistance, call 1-800-736-2444 (select the premium option) or send an e-mail to email@example.com. PBGC's business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
- If you do not receive an expected e-mail from My PAA (e.g., with your temporary user ID and password), the e-mail may be blocked by your systems security software (e.g., treated as "spam"). To receive the e-mail, we suggest that you check with your system's security staff to see if an e-mail from "@pbgc.gov" is blocked. If so, request that it be unblocked so you can receive it and ask (for the future) that e-mails from "@pbgc.gov" be added as a "trusted site" to your systems. If this is not an option or does not resolve the issue, contact a PBGC representative for assistance.
- When you route an e-filing to another person, you will send that person an e-mail in which you may enter a brief message (up to 256 characters). If you exceed the maximum, you will receive an error message that says "Your entry or selection for the 'Additional Message' indicated is invalid, or you have left it blank. Please try again." To resolve the issue, reduce the length of your message and re-route the filing (with message).
- If you receive a message that you are locked out of My PAA, this means that you have entered incorrect information when trying to login (e.g., an incorrect password three times). To resolve the issue, select the Forgot your Password link on the My PAA Login Screen and follow the instructions. If unsure of your User ID, select the Forgot your User ID link. If this does not resolve the issue, contact a PBGC representative for assistance.
- If you receive a message that you have been "logged out" of My PAA (after receiving an advance warning message), this means that you have been inactive within My PAA for at least 20 minutes (i.e., have not selected any My PAA buttons or links). To resolve this condition, you will need to start over and enter your user ID and password into My PAA's Log In Screen.
- If you receive a message that there are "technical difficulties", this is typically due to a temporary network condition, usage of browser buttons instead of My PAA buttons, or other computer/usage issues. You should try again at a later time. If you continue to receive this message, contact a PBGC representative for assistance.
- If you receive a message that says "system unavailable," this typically means that My PAA is not available at that time (e.g., while system maintenance is being done). If you continue to receive this message, contact a PBGC representative for assistance.
- To contact a PBGC representative for assistance, call 1-800-736-2444 (select the "premium" option) or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. PBGC's business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
Since My PAA is a Web-based application, it generally works best (e.g., how quickly pages are loaded) if your computer has standard software that is up-to-date and if you are using the latest version of your web browser. Otherwise, you may experience unexpected and unsupported problems when trying to use My PAA. For example, Microsoft has reported it will no longer support browser versions prior to IE11.
The following browsers typically work well with the My PAA application:
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 11
- Mozilla Firefox 45.0 and Above
- Google Chrome 53.0 and Above
My PAA has a "Print" button on key screens (e.g., the Data Summary Page that reflects all of the data entered). You can also print any additional screens or any portion of a screen/page. Here are a few typical printing methods (which depend upon your computer's features).
To print a screen/page, here are some printing alternatives:
- Select the print icon if available.
- Select "File/Print" from your browser's menu.
- Right-click with your mouse and select the "Print" option.
To print a specific section of a screen, follow these steps:
- Highlight the portion you would like to print.
- Select "File/Print" from your browser's menu or right-click with your mouse and select the "Print" option.
- When the print dialog box is displayed, click once on the option to print only the "Selection."
- Select the "Print" button on the print dialog box.
- Only use My PAA buttons/links. It is best to only use navigation buttons/links on the My PAA screens (typically on the top and the bottom right of the screen) rather than the buttons/links provided by the browser software you are using. Using the browser-provided buttons/links can sometimes result in your receiving a technical difficulties message that will not allow you to continue. If this occurs, you will need to close My PAA and start over with the Log In process.
- Understand the primary buttons within My PAA. Use “Back” to go back to the previous page, “Continue” to go forward to the next page, “Cancel” to cancel the creation of the filing, and “Save & Exit” to save the filing data (after a few initial screens) and enable you to leave My PAA and return later to work on the saved draft filing.
- Only select My PAA buttons/links once. After you select a button/link on a My PAA screen (e.g., the Submit button), allow sufficient time for the action to complete (considering the substantial amount of data involved). Do not try to shorten the wait time by repeatedly clicking on the button/link because it may lead to the page "freezing" and you will not be able to continue. If the page does "freeze," you will need to close My PAA and start over with the Log In process.
- Be sure to scroll down the page. Scrolling is necessary to see all of the data, buttons and instructions.
- Use a compatible browser. This will contribute to a more positive experience using My PAA (e.g., how quickly pages are loaded).