[Federal Register: June 15, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 113)]

[Rules and Regulations]               

[Page 28161-28163]

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

[DOCID:fr15jn09-8]                         



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PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION



29 CFR Parts 4022 and 4044



 

Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Benefits Payable 

in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing 

and Paying Benefits



AGENCY: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.



ACTION: Final rule.



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SUMMARY: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulations on 

Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans and Benefits Payable in 

Terminated Single-Employer Plans prescribe interest assumptions for 

valuing and paying certain benefits under terminating single-employer 

plans. This final rule amends the asset allocation regulation to adopt 

interest assumptions for plans with valuation dates in the third 

quarter of 2009 and amends the benefit payments regulation to adopt 

interest assumptions for plans with valuation dates in July 2009. 

Interest assumptions are also published on PBGC's Web site (http://

www.pbgc.gov).



DATES: Effective July 1, 2009.



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine B. Klion, Manager, 

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-

4024.)



SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PBGC's regulations prescribe actuarial 

assumptions--including interest assumptions--for valuing and paying 

plan benefits of terminating single-employer plans covered by title IV 

of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The interest 

assumptions are intended to reflect current conditions in the financial 

and annuity markets.

    These interest assumptions are found in two PBGC regulations: the 

regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR 

part 4044) and the regulation on Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-

Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4022). Assumptions under the



[[Page 28162]]



asset allocation regulation are updated quarterly; assumptions under 

the benefit payments regulation are updated monthly. This final rule 

updates the assumptions under the asset allocation regulation for the 

third quarter (July through September) of 2009 and updates the 

assumptions under the benefit payments regulation for July 2009.

    The interest assumptions prescribed under the asset allocation 

regulation (found in Appendix B to Part 4044) are used for the 

valuation of benefits for allocation purposes under ERISA section 4044. 

Two sets of interest assumptions are prescribed under the benefit 

payments regulation: (1) A set for PBGC to use to determine whether a 

benefit is payable as a lump sum and to determine lump-sum amounts to 

be paid by PBGC (found in Appendix B to Part 4022), and (2) a set for 

private-sector pension practitioners to refer to if they wish to use 

lump-sum interest rates determined using PBGC's historical methodology 

(found in Appendix C to Part 4022).

    This amendment (1) adds to Appendix B to Part 4044 the interest 

assumptions for valuing benefits for allocation purposes in plans with 

valuation dates during the third quarter (July through September) of 

2009, (2) adds to Appendix B to Part 4022 the interest assumptions for 

PBGC to use for its own lump-sum payments in plans with valuation dates 

during July 2009, and (3) adds to Appendix C to Part 4022 the interest 

assumptions for private-sector pension practitioners to refer to if 

they wish to use lump-sum interest rates determined using PBGC's 

historical methodology for valuation dates during July 2009.

    The interest assumptions that PBGC will use for valuing benefits 

for allocation purposes (set forth in Appendix B to part 4044) will be 

5.31 percent for the first 20 years following the valuation date and 

5.04 percent thereafter. By comparison with the interest assumptions in 

effect for the second quarter of 2009, these interest assumptions 

represent a decrease of 0.19 percent for the first 20 years following 

the valuation date and an increase of 0.02 percent for all years 

thereafter.

    The interest assumptions that PBGC will use for its own lump-sum 

payments (set forth in Appendix B to part 4022) will be 3.75 percent 

for the period during which a benefit is in pay status and 4.00 percent 

during any years preceding the benefit's placement in pay status. These 

interest assumptions represent no change from those in effect for June 

2009. For private-sector payments, the interest assumptions (set forth 

in Appendix C to part 4022) will be the same as those used by PBGC for 

determining and paying lump sums (set forth in Appendix B to part 

4022).

    PBGC has determined that notice and public comment on this 

amendment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This 

finding is based on the need to determine and issue new interest 

assumptions promptly so that the assumptions can reflect current market 

conditions as accurately as possible.

    Because of the need to provide immediate guidance for the valuation 

and payment of benefits in plans with valuation dates during July 2009, 

PBGC finds that good cause exists for making the assumptions set forth 

in this amendment effective less than 30 days after publication.

    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 amendment, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply. 

See 5 U.S.C. 601(2).



List of Subjects



29 CFR Part 4022



    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Pensions, Reporting and 

recordkeeping requirements.



29 CFR Part 4044



    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Pensions.



0

In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR parts 4022 and 4044 are 

amended as follows:



PART 4022--BENEFITS PAYABLE IN TERMINATED SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS



0

1. The authority citation for part 4022 continues to read as follows:



    Authority:  29 U.S.C. 1302, 1322, 1322b, 1341(c)(3)(D), and 

1344.





0

2. In appendix B to part 4022, Rate Set 189, as set forth below, is 

added to the table.



Appendix B to Part 4022--Lump Sum Interest Rates for PBGC Payments



* * * * *



[[Page 28163]]







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                   For plans with a valuation date     Immediate                                 Deferred annuities (percent)

    Rate set     ----------------------------------   annuity rate  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    On or after         Before         (percent)            i1               i2               i3               n1               n2

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



                                                                      * * * * * * *

          189            7-1-09           8-1-09             3.75             4.00             4.00             4.00                7                8

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0

3. In appendix C to part 4022, Rate Set 189, as set forth below, is 

added to the table.



Appendix C to Part 4022--Lump Sum Interest Rates for Private-Sector 

Payments



* * * * *



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                   For plans with a valuation date     Immediate                                 Deferred annuities (percent)

    Rate set     ----------------------------------   annuity rate  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    On or after         Before         (percent)            i1               i2               i3               n1               n2

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



                                                                      * * * * * * *

          189            7-1-09           8-1-09             3.75             4.00             4.00             4.00                7                8

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



PART 4044--ALLOCATION OF ASSETS IN SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS



0

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



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



0

5. In appendix B to part 4044, a new entry for July-September 2009, as 

set forth below, is added to the table.



Appendix B to Part 4044--Interest Rates Used To Value Benefits



* * * * *



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                                                             The values of it are:

For valuation dates occurring ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

       in the months--              it        for t =         it        for t =          it           for t =

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                                                  * * * * * * *

July-September 2009..........       0.0531         1-20       0.0504          >20  N/A             N/A

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    Issued in Washington, DC, on this 9th day of June 2009.

Vincent K. Snowbarger,

Acting Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

[FR Doc. E9-14003 Filed 6-12-09; 8:45 am]



BILLING CODE 7709-01-P