[Federal Register: October 15, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 199)]

[Notices]               

[Page 59422-59423]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr15oc03-112]                         





[[Page 59422]]



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PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION



 

Required Interest Rate Assumption for Determining Variable-Rate 

Premium; Interest on Late Premium Payments; Interest on Underpayments 

and Overpayments of Single-Employer Plan Termination Liability and 

Multiemployer Withdrawal Liability; Interest Assumptions for 

Multiemployer Plan Valuations Following Mass Withdrawal



AGENCY: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.



ACTION: Notice of interest rates and assumptions.



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SUMMARY: This notice informs the public of the interest rates and 

assumptions to be used under certain Pension Benefit Guaranty 

Corporation regulations. These rates and assumptions are published 

elsewhere (or can be derived from rates published elsewhere), but are 

collected and published in this notice for the convenience of the 

public. Interest rates are also published on the PBGC's Web site 

(http://www.pbgc.gov).



DATES: The required interest rate for determining the variable-rate 

premium under part 4006 applies to premium payment years beginning in 

October 2003. The interest assumptions for performing multiemployer 

plan valuations following mass withdrawal under part 4281 apply to 

valuation dates occurring in November 2003. The interest rates for late 

premium payments under part 4007 and for underpayments and overpayments 

of single-employer plan termination liability under part 4062 and 

multiemployer withdrawal liability under part 4219 apply to interest 

accruing during the fourth quarter (October through December) of 2003.



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, 202-326-4024. 

(TTY/TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-

877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4024.)



SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 



Variable-Rate Premiums



    Section 4006(a)(3)(E)(iii)(II) of the Employee Retirement Income 

Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and Sec.  4006.4(b)(1) of the PBGC's 

regulation on Premium Rates (29 CFR part 4006) prescribe use of an 

assumed interest rate (the ``required interest rate'') in determining a 

single-employer plan's variable-rate premium. The required interest 

rate is the ``applicable percentage'' (currently 100 percent) of the 

annual yield on 30-year Treasury securities for the month preceding the 

beginning of the plan year for which premiums are being paid (the 

``premium payment year''). (Although the Treasury Department has ceased 

issuing 30-year securities, the Internal Revenue Service announces a 

surrogate yield figure each month--based on the 30-year Treasury bond 

maturing in February 2031--which the PBGC uses to determine the 

required interest rate.)

    The required interest rate to be used in determining variable-rate 

premiums for premium payment years beginning in October 2003 is 5.14 

percent.

    The following table lists the required interest rates to be used in 

determining variable-rate premiums for premium payment years beginning 

between November 2002 and October 2003.



------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                           The required

         For premium payment  years beginning in           interest rate

                                                                is

------------------------------------------------------------------------

November 2002...........................................            4.93

December 2002...........................................            4.96

January 2003............................................            4.92

February 2003...........................................            4.94

March 2003..............................................            4.81

April 2003..............................................            4.80

May 2003................................................            4.90

June 2003...............................................            4.53

July 2003...............................................            4.37

August 2003.............................................            4.93

September 2003..........................................            5.31

October 2003............................................            5.14

------------------------------------------------------------------------



Late Premium Payments; Underpayments and Overpayments of Single-

Employer Plan Termination Liability



    Section 4007(b) of ERISA and Sec.  4007.7(a) of the PBGC's 

regulation on Payment of Premiums (29 CFR part 4007) require the 

payment of interest on late premium payments at the rate established 

under section 6601 of the Internal Revenue Code. Similarly, Sec.  

4062.7 of the PBGC's regulation on Liability for Termination of Single-

Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4062) requires that interest be charged or 

credited at the section 6601 rate on underpayments and overpayments of 

employer liability under section 4062 of ERISA. The section 6601 rate 

is established periodically (currently quarterly) by the Internal 

Revenue Service. The rate applicable to the fourth quarter (October 

through December) of 2003, as announced by the IRS, is 4 percent.

    The following table lists the late payment interest rates for 

premiums and employer liability for the specified time periods:



------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                               Interest

                    From--                       Through--       rate

                                                              (percent)

------------------------------------------------------------------------

7/1/96........................................      3/31/98            9

4/1/98........................................     12/31/98            8

1/1/99........................................      3/31/99            7

4/1/99........................................      3/31/00            8

4/1/00........................................      3/31/01            9

4/1/01........................................      6/30/01            8

7/1/01........................................     12/31/01            7

1/1/02........................................     12/31/02            6

1/1/03........................................      9/30/03            5

10/1/03.......................................     12/31/03            4

------------------------------------------------------------------------



Underpayments and Overpayments of Multiemployer Withdrawal Liability



    Section 4219.32(b) of the PBGC's regulation on Notice, Collection, 

and Redetermination of Withdrawal Liability (29 CFR part 4219) 

specifies the rate at which a multiemployer plan is to charge or credit 

interest on underpayments and overpayments of withdrawal liability 

under section 4219 of ERISA unless an applicable plan provision 

provides otherwise. For interest accruing during any calendar quarter, 

the specified rate is the average quoted prime rate on short-term 

commercial loans for the fifteenth day (or the next business day if the 

fifteenth day is not a business day) of the month preceding the 

beginning of the quarter, as reported by the Board of Governors of the 

Federal Reserve System in Statistical Release H.15 (``Selected Interest 

Rates''). The rate for the fourth quarter (October through December) of 

2003 (i.e., the rate reported for September 15, 2003) is 4.00 percent.

    The following table lists the withdrawal liability underpayment and 

overpayment interest rates for the specified time periods:



------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                Interest

                From                          Through             rate

                                                               (percent)

------------------------------------------------------------------------

7/1/97..............................  12/31/98...............       8.50

1/1/99..............................  9/30/99................       7.75

10/1/99.............................  12/31/99...............       8.25

1/1/00..............................  3/31/00................       8.50

4/1/00..............................  6/30/00................       8.75

7/1/00..............................  3/31/01................       9.50

4/1/01..............................  6/30/01................       8.50

7/1/01..............................  9/30/01................       7.00

10/1/01.............................  12/31/01...............       6.50

1/1/02..............................  12/31/02...............       4.75

1/1/03..............................  9/30/03................       4.25

10/1/03.............................  12/31/03...............       4.00

------------------------------------------------------------------------



Multiemployer Plan Valuations Following Mass Withdrawal



    The PBGC's regulation on Duties of Plan Sponsor Following Mass 

Withdrawal (29 CFR part 4281) prescribes the use of interest 

assumptions under the PBGC's regulation on Allocation of Assets in 

Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part



[[Page 59423]]



4044). The interest assumptions applicable to valuation dates in 

November 2003 under part 4044 are contained in an amendment to part 

4044 published elsewhere in today's Federal Register. Tables showing 

the assumptions applicable to prior periods are codified in appendix B 

to 29 CFR part 4044.



    Issued in Washington, DC, on this 7th day of October 2003.

Joseph H. Grant,

Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Pension Benefit 

Guaranty Corporation.

[FR Doc. 03-26027 Filed 10-14-03; 8:45 am]



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