[Federal Register: December 1, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 232)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 75165-75167]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr01de00-8]                         

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PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION

29 CFR Part 4044

 
Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Valuation of 
Benefits and Assets; Expected Retirement Age

AGENCY: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's 
regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans by 
substituting a new table that applies to any plan being terminated 
either in a distress termination or involuntarily by the PBGC with a 
valuation date falling in 2001, and is used to determine expected 
retirement ages for plan participants. This table is needed in order to 
compute the value of early retirement benefits and, thus, the total 
value of benefits under the plan.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Harold J. Ashner, Assistant General 
Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty 
Corporation, 1200 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026; 202-326-
4024. (For TTY/TDD users, call the Federal relay service toll-free at 
1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4024.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The PBGC's regulation on Allocation of 
Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4044) sets forth (in 
subpart B) the methods for valuing plan benefits of terminating single-
employer plans covered under Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income 
Security Act of 1974. Under ERISA section 4041(c), guaranteed benefits 
and benefit

[[Page 75166]]

liabilities under a plan that is undergoing a distress termination must 
be valued in accordance with part 4044, subpart B. In addition, when 
the PBGC terminates an underfunded plan involuntarily pursuant to ERISA 
Section 4042(a), it uses the subpart B valuation rules to determine the 
amount of the plan's underfunding.
    Under Sec. 4044.51(b), early retirement benefits are valued based 
on the annuity starting date, if a retirement date has been selected, 
or the expected retirement age, if the annuity starting date is not 
known on the valuation date. Sections 4044.55 through 4044.57 set forth 
rules for determining the expected retirement ages for plan 
participants entitled to early retirement benefits. Appendix D of part 
4044 contains tables to be used in determining the expected early 
retirement ages.
    Table I in appendix D (Selection of Retirement Rate Category) is 
used to determine whether a participant has a low, medium, or high 
probability of retiring early. The determination is based on the year a 
participant would reach ``unreduced retirement age'' (i.e., the earlier 
of the normal retirement age or the age at which an unreduced benefit 
is first payable) and the participant's monthly benefit at unreduced 
retirement age. The table applies only to plans with valuation dates in 
the current year and is updated annually by the PBGC to reflect changes 
in the cost of living, etc.
    Tables II-A, II-B, and II-C (Expected Retirement Ages for 
Individuals in the Low, Medium, and High Categories respectively) are 
used to determine the expected retirement age after the probability of 
early retirement has been determined using Table I. These tables 
establish, by probability category, the expected retirement age based 
on both the earliest age a participant could retire under the plan and 
the unreduced retirement age. This expected retirement age is used to 
compute the value of the early retirement benefit and, thus, the total 
value of benefits under the plan.
    This document amends appendix D to replace Table I-00 with Table I-
01 in order to provide an updated correlation, appropriate for calendar 
year 2001, between the amount of a participant's benefit and the 
probability that the participant will elect early retirement. Table I-
01 will be used to value benefits in plans with valuation dates during 
calendar year 2001.
    The PBGC has determined that notice of and public comment on this 
rule are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Plan 
administrators need to be able to estimate accurately the value of plan 
benefits as early as possible before initiating the termination 
process. For that purpose, if a plan has a valuation date in 2001, the 
plan administrator needs the updated table being promulgated in this 
rule. Accordingly, the public interest is best served by issuing this 
table expeditiously, without an opportunity for notice and comment, to 
allow as much time as possible to estimate the value of plan benefits 
with the proper table for plans with valuation dates in early 2001.
    The PBGC has determined that this action is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 
12866.
    Because no general notice of proposed rulemaking is required for 
this regulation, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply 
(5 U.S.C. 601(2)).

List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 4044

    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance.

    In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR part 4044 is amended as 
follows:

PART 4044--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 4044 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 29 U.S.C. 1301(a), 1302(b)(3), 1341, 1344, 1362.

    2. Appendix D to part 4044 is amended by removing Table I-00 and 
adding in its place Table I-01 to read as follows:

Appendix D to Part 4044--Tables Used to Determine Expected 
Retirement Age

                               Table I-01.--Selection of Retirement Rate Category
              [For Plans with valuation dates after December 31, 2000, and before January 1, 2002]
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                                                                  Participant's retirement rate category is--
                                                             ---------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Medium \2\ if monthly   High \3\ if
                                                               Low \1\ if      benefit at URA is       monthly
              Participant reaches URA in year--                 monthly   --------------------------  benefit at
                                                               benefit at                               URA is
                                                              URA is less      From          To        greater
                                                                 than--                                 than--
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2002........................................................          442          442        1,867        1,867
2003........................................................          454          454        1,915        1,915
2004........................................................          466          466        1,965        1,965
2005........................................................          478          478        2,016        2,016
2006........................................................          490          490        2,068        2,068
2007........................................................          503          503        2,122        2,122
2008........................................................          516          516        2,177        2,177
2009........................................................          530          530        2,234        2,234
2010........................................................          543          543        2,292        2,292
2011 or later...............................................          557          557        2,352       2,352
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\1\ Table II-A.
\2\ Table II-B.
\3\ Table II-C.


[[Page 75167]]

* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 17th day of November, 2000.
David M. Strauss,
Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
[FR Doc. 00-30324 Filed 11-30-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7708-01-P