[December 20, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 243)]
[Unified Agenda]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[Page 79681-79682]

Statement of Regulatory and Deregulatory Priorities
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the pensions
of about 44 million people in about 29,000 privately defined benefit
plans. PBGC receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations
[[Page 79682]]

PBGC guarantees and the amount of assets allocated to participants who
retired or have been retirement-eligible for 3 years. In 2008, PBGC
published a proposed regulation to implement this statutory change;
PBGC expects to finalize the regulation in late 2010.
PPA 2006 changes the rules for determining benefits upon the
termination of a statutory hybrid plan, such as a cash balance plan.
PBGC plans to publish a proposed regulation in late 2010 to implement
those rules in both PBGC-trusteed plans and in plans that close out in
the private sector.
Under PPA 2006, the phase-in period for the guarantee of a benefit
payable solely by reason of an ``unpredictable contingent event,'' such
as a plant shutdown, starts no earlier than the date of the shutdown or
other unpredictable contingent event. PBGC plans to publish a proposed
regulation implementing this statutory change in late 2010.
Compliance assistance
PBGC has initiated a regulatory project to assist plans to comply with
requirements applicable to certain substantial cessations of
operations. ERISA section 4062(e) provides for reporting of and
liability for certain substantial cessations of operations by employers
that maintain single-employer plans. In July 2010, PBGC published a
proposed regulation that provides guidance as to what constitutes a
section 4062(e) event, on the reporting of such an event to PBGC, and
on the determination and satisfaction of liability arising from such an
event. Issuance of the guidance is expected to improve 4062(e)
reporting as a regulatory tool.
Reemployed service members' pension benefits
In 2010, PBGC published a final regulation that implementing provisions
of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of
1994 (USERRA). USERRA provides that an individual who leaves a job to
serve in the uniformed services is generally entitled to reemployment
by the previous employer and, upon reemployment, to receive credit for
benefits, including employee pension plan benefits, that would have
accrued but for the employee's absence due to the military service. The
regulation provides that so long as a service member is reemployed
within the time limits set by USERRA, even if the reemployment occurs
after the plan's termination date, PBGC treats the participant as
having satisfied the reemployment condition as of the termination date.
This ensures that the pension benefits of reemployed service members,
like those of other employees, will generally be guaranteed for periods
up to the plan's termination date.
PBGC will continue to look for ways to further improve its regulations.