[Federal Register: November 14, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 220)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 61012-61013]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr14no97-11]

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PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION

29 CFR Part 4044

 
Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Interest 
Assumptions for Valuing Benefits

AGENCY: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulation on 
Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans prescribes interest 
assumptions for valuing benefits under terminating single-employer 
plans. This final rule amends the regulation to adopt interest 
assumptions for plans with valuation dates in December 1997.

EFFECTIVE DATE: December 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, 202-326-4024. 
(For TTY and TDD, call 800-877-8339 and request connection to 202-326-
4024).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The PBGC's regulation on Allocation of 
Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4044) prescribes actuarial 
assumptions for valuing plan benefits of terminating single-employer 
plans covered by title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security 
Act of 1974.
    Among the actuarial assumptions prescribed in part 4044 are 
interest assumptions. These interest assumptions are intended to 
reflect current conditions in the financial and annuity markets.
    Two sets of interest assumptions are prescribed, one set for the 
valuation of benefits to be paid as annuities and one set for the 
valuation of benefits to be paid as lump sums. This amendment adds to 
appendix B to part 4044 the annuity and lump sum interest assumptions 
for valuing benefits in plans with valuation dates during December 
1997.
    For annuity benefits, the interest assumptions will be 5.60 percent 
for the first 25 years following the valuation date and 5.00 percent 
thereafter. The annuity interest assumptions represent a decrease (from 
those in effect for November 1997) of 0.10 percent for the first 25 
years following the valuation date and are otherwise unchanged. For 
benefits to be paid as lump sums, the interest assumptions to be used 
by the PBGC will be 4.50 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. The lump sum interest assumptions 
are unchanged from those in effect for November 1997.
    The 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, as accurately 
as possible, current market conditions.
    Because of the need to provide immediate guidance for the valuation 
of benefits in plans with valuation dates during December 1997, the 
PBGC finds that good cause exists for making the assumptions set forth 
in this amendment effective less than 30 days after publication.
    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 amendment, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply. 
See 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 
follows:

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

    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. In appendix B, a new entry is added to Table I, and Rate Set 50 
is added to Table II, as set forth below. The introductory text of each 
table is republished for the convenience of the reader and remains 
unchanged.

Appendix B to Part 4044--Interest Rates Used to Value Annuities and 
Lump Sums

Table I.--Annuity Valuations

    [This table sets forth, for each indicated calendar month, the 
interest rates (denoted by i<INF>1</INF>, i<INF>2</INF>, * * *, and 
referred to generally as i<INF>t</INF>) assumed to be in effect 
between specified anniversaries of a valuation date that occurs 
within that calendar month; those anniversaries are specified in the 
columns adjacent to the rates. The last listed rate is assumed to be 
in effect after the last listed anniversary date.]

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                                                             The values of i<INF>t are:                              
     For valuation dates     -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  occurring in the month--         i<INF>t          for t =         i<INF>t          for t =         i<INF>t          for t =  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                
*                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                
                                                        *                                                       
December 1997...............        .0560          1-25         .0500           >25           N/A           N/A 
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Table II.--Lump Sum Valuations

    [In using this table: (1) For benefits for which the participant 
or beneficiary is entitled to be in pay status on the valuation 
date, the immediate annuity rate shall apply; (2) For benefits for 
which the deferral period is y years (where y is an integer and 0 < 
y <ls-thn-eq> n<INF>1</INF>), interest rate i<INF>1</INF> shall 
apply from the valuation date for a period of y years, and 
thereafter the immediate annuity rate shall apply; (3) For benefits 
for which the deferral period is y years (where y is an integer and 
n<INF>1</INF> < y <ls-thn-eq> n<INF>1</INF> + n<INF>2</INF>), 
interest rate i<INF>2</INF> shall apply from the valuation date for 
a period of y - n<INF>1</INF> years, interest rate i<INF>1</INF> 
shall apply for the following n<INF>1</INF> years, and thereafter 
the immediate annuity rate shall apply; (4) For benefits for which 
the deferral period is y years (where y is an integer and y > 
n<INF>1</INF> + n<INF>2</INF>), interest rate i<INF>3</INF> shall 
apply from the valuation date for a period of y - n<INF>1</INF> - 
n<INF>2</INF> years, interest rate i<INF>2</INF> shall

[[Page 61013]]

apply for the following n<INF>2</INF> years, interest rate 
i<INF>1</INF> shall apply for the following n<INF>1</INF> years, and 
thereafter the immediate annuity rate shall apply.]

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                                                             For plans with a                                Deferred annuities (percent)               
                                                              valuation date       Immediate -----------------------------------------------------------
                        Rate set                         ------------------------   annuity                                                             
                                                             On or                   rate         i<INF>1          i<INF>2          i<INF>3          n<INF>1          n<INF>2    
                                                             after      Before     (percent)                                                            
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                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  
50......................................................    12-1-97     01-1-98        4.50        4.00        4.00        4.00           7           8 
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    Issued in Washington, D.C., on this 10th day of November 1997.
David M. Strauss,
Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
[FR Doc. 97-30043 Filed 11-13-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7708-01-P