[Federal Register: January 15, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 10)] [Rules and Regulations] [Page 2307-2308] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr15ja98-3] ======================================================================= ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 February 1998. EFFECTIVE DATE: February 1, 1998. 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/TDD users, call the Federal relay service toll-free at 1-800- 877-8339 and ask to be connected 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 February 1998. For annuity benefits, the interest assumptions will be 5.50 percent for the first 25 years following the valuation date and 5.25 percent thereafter. The annuity interest assumptions represent a decrease (from those in effect for January 1998) 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 4.25 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 January 1998. 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 February 1998, 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 52 is added to Table II, as set forth below. [[Page 2308]] 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, i<INF>2, * * *, and referred to generally as i<INF>t) 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.] ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 = ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- * * * * * * * February 1998..................... .0550 1-25 .0525 >25 N/A N/A ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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), interest rate i<INF>1 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 < y <ls-thn-eq> n<INF>1 + n<INF>2), interest rate i<INF>2 shall apply from the valuation date for a period of y - n<INF>1 years, interest rate i<INF>1 shall apply for the following n<INF>1 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 + n<INF>2), interest rate i<INF>3 shall apply from the valuation date for a period of y <ls-thn- eq> n<INF>1--n<INF>2 years, interest rate i<INF>2 shall apply for the following n<INF>2 years, interest rate i<INF>1 shall apply for the following n<INF>1 years, and thereafter the immediate annuity rate shall apply.] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For plans with a valuation date Immediate Deferred annuities (percent) Rate set ---------------------------------- annuity rate ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ On or after Before (percent) i<INF>1 i<INF>2 i<INF>3 n<INF>1 n<INF>2 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- * * * * * * * 52.............. 02-1-98 03-1-98 4.25 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Issued in Washington, D.C., on this 9th day of January 1998. David M. Strauss, Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. [FR Doc. 98-1063 Filed 1-14-98; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7708-01-P