[Federal Register: December 13, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 241)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 65473-65474]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr13de96-8]

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PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION

29 CFR Parts 4011 and 4022

 
Disclosure to Participants; Benefits Payable in Terminated 
Single-Employer Plans

AGENCY: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule amends the appendix to the Pension Benefit Guaranty 
Corporation's regulation on Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-
Employer Plans by adding the maximum guaranteeable pension benefit that 
may be paid by the PBGC with respect to a plan participant in a single-
employer pension plan that terminates in 1997. This rule also amends 
Appendix B to the PBGC's regulation on Disclosure to Participants by 
adding information on 1997 maximum guaranteed benefit amounts. The 
amendment is necessary because the maximum guarantee amount changes 
each year, based on changes in the contribution and benefit base under 
section 230 of the Social Security Act. The effect of the amendment is 
to advise plan participants and beneficiaries of the increased maximum 
guarantee amount for 1997.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 1997.

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 (202-326-4179 for TTY and TDD).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 4022(b) of the Employee Retirement 
Income Security Act of 1974 provides for certain limitations on 
benefits guaranteed by the PBGC in terminating single-employer pension 
plans covered under Title IV of ERISA. One of the limitations, set 
forth in section 4022(b)(3)(B), is a dollar ceiling on the amount of 
the monthly benefit that may be paid to a plan participant (in the form 
of a life annuity beginning at age 65) by the PBGC. The ceiling is 
equal to ``$750 multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the 
contribution and benefit base (determined under section 230 of the 
Social Security Act) in effect at the time the plan terminates and the 
denominator of which is such contribution and benefit base in effect in 
calendar year 1974 [$13,200]''. This formula is also set forth in 
Sec. 4022.22(b) of the PBGC's regulation on Benefits Payable in 
Terminated Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR Part 4022).
    Section 230(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 430(d)) 
provides special rules for determining the contribution and benefit 
base for purposes of ERISA section 4022(b)(3)(B). Each year the Social 
Security Administration determines, and notifies the PBGC of, the 
contribution and benefit base to be used by the PBGC under these 
provisions. The PBGC has been notified by the Social Security 
Administration that, under section 230 of the Social Security Act, 
$48,600 is the contribution and benefit base that is to be used to 
calculate the PBGC maximum guaranteeable benefit for 1997. Accordingly, 
the formula under section 4022(b)(3)(B) of ERISA and 29 CFR 
Sec. 4022.22(b) is: $750 multiplied by $48,600/$13,200. Thus, the 
maximum monthly benefit guaranteeable by the PBGC in 1997 is $2,761.36 
per month in the form of a life annuity beginning at age 65. If a 
benefit is payable in a

[[Page 65474]]

different form or begins at a different age, the maximum guaranteeable 
amount will be the actuarial equivalent of $2,761.36 per month.
    The appendix to part 4022 lists the maximum guaranteeable benefit 
payable by the PBGC to participants in single-employer plans that have 
terminated in each year from 1974 through 1996. This amendment updates 
the appendix for plans that terminate in 1997.
    Section 4011 of ERISA requires plan administrators of certain 
underfunded plans to provide notice to plan participants and 
beneficiaries of the plan's funding status and the limits of the PBGC's 
guarantee. The PBGC's regulation on Disclosure to Participants (29 CFR 
Part 4011) implements the statutory notice requirement. This rule 
amends Appendix B to the regulation on Disclosure to Participants by 
adding information on 1997 maximum guaranteed benefit amounts. Plan 
administrators may, subject to the requirements of that regulation, 
include this information in participant notices.
    Because the maximum guaranteeable benefit is determined according 
to the formula in section 4022(b)(3)(B) of ERISA, and these amendments 
make no change in its method of calculation but simply list 1997 
maximum guaranteeable benefit amounts for the information of the 
public, general notice of proposed rulemaking is not required. 
Moreover, because the 1997 maximum guaranteeable benefit is effective, 
under the statute, at the time that the Social Security contribution 
and benefit base is effective, i.e., January 1, 1997, and is not 
dependent on the issuance of this rule, the PBGC finds that good cause 
exists for making these amendments effective less than 30 days after 
publication (5 U.S.C. 553).
    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

29 CFR Part 4011

    Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

29 CFR Part 4022

    Pension insurance, Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.
    In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR parts 4011 and 4022 are 
amended as follows:

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

    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.

    2. The appendix to part 4022 is amended by adding a new entry to 
the table to read as follows. The introductory text is reproduced for 
the convenience of the reader and remains unchanged.

Appendix to Part 4022--Maximum Guaranteeable Monthly Benefit

    The following table lists by year the maximum guaranteeable monthly 
benefit payable in the form of a life annuity commencing at age 65 as 
described by Sec. 4022.22(b) to a participant in a plan that terminated 
in that year:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Maximum   
                                                           guaranteeable
                           Year                               monthly   
                                                              benefit   
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        
                  *        *        *        *        *                 
1997.....................................................      2,761.36 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 4011--DISCLOSURE TO PARTICIPANTS

    3. The authority citation for Part 4011 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 29 U.S.C. 1302(b)(3), 1311.

    4. Appendix B to part 4011 is amended by adding a new entry to the 
table to read as follows. The introductory text is reproduced for the 
convenience of the reader and remains unchanged.

                                              Appendix B to Part 4011--Table of Maximum Guaranteed Benefits                                             
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                                           The maximum guaranteed benefit for an individual starting to receive benefits at the age listed below is the 
                                                                             amount  (monthly or annual) listed below:                                  
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        If a plan terminates in--                   Age 65                      Age 62                      Age 60                      Age 55          
                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Monthly       Annual        Monthly       Annual        Monthly       Annual        Monthly       Annual   
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                        
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  
1997....................................     $2,761.36    $33,136.32     $2,181.47    $26,177.64     $1,794.88    $21,538.56     $1,242.61    $14,911.32
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    Issued at Washington, D.C., this 10th day of December, 1996.
Martin Slate,
Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
[FR Doc. 96-31715 Filed 12-12-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7708-01-P