[Federal Register: December 1, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 231)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 72716-72717]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



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.


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 2009, 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.

DATES: Effective Date: January 1, 2009.

Regulatory and Policy Division, Legislative and Regulatory Department, 
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-

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. Guaranteed benefits and benefit 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) of the asset allocation regulation, early 
retirement benefits are valued based on the annuity starting date, if a 
retirement date has

[[Page 72717]]

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-08 with Table I-
09 in order to provide an updated correlation, appropriate for calendar 
year 2009, between the amount of a participant's benefit and the 
probability that the participant will elect early retirement. Table I-
09 will be used to value benefits in plans with valuation dates during 
calendar year 2009.
    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 2009, 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 2009.
    The PBGC has determined that this action is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 
    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

    Pension insurance, Pensions.

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


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-08 and adding 
in its place Table I-09 to read as follows:

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

                                Table I-09--Selection of Retirement Rate Category
              [For Plans with valuation dates after December 31, 2008, and before January 1, 2010]
                                                             Low \1\ if                           High \3\ if
                                        Participant's     monthly benefit     Medium \2\ if     monthly benefit
  Participant reaches URA in year--    retirement rate     at URA is less    monthly benefit   at URA is greater
                                        category is--          than--          at URA is--       than--From To
2010................................                552                552              2,332              2,332
2011................................                565                565              2,385              2,385
2012................................                578                578              2,440              2,440
2013................................                591                591              2,496              2,496
2014................................                605                605              2,554              2,554
2015................................                619                619              2,612              2,612
2016................................                633                633              2,673              2,673
2017................................                647                647              2,734              2,734
2018................................                662                662              2,797              2,797
2019 or later.......................                677                677              2,861             2,861
\1\ Table II-A.
\2\ Table II-B.
\3\ Table II-C.

* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 21st day of November, 2008.
Vincent K. Snowbarger,
Deputy Director for Operations, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
[FR Doc. E8-28413 Filed 11-28-08; 8:45 am]