Tag Archives: PBGC

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

PBGC releases final rule on examination and copying of records
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is amending its regulation on Examination and Copying of PBGC Records to incorporate statutory changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The majority of the regulatory changes are specifically required by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. Section 3 of the 2016 Act requires federal agencies to review their FOIA regulations and to make conforming amendments, as necessary, to incorporate the 2016 Act’s changes to the FOIA. In addition to the changes required under the 2016 Act, PBGC is making one other amendment to its FOIA regulation that incorporates a previous statutory change under the Open Government Act of 2007.

As amended, the FOIA requires each agency to affirmatively release certain records that the agency determines are likely to be the subject of future requests, as well as certain others that have been the subject of three or more requests. The FOIA also requires agencies to redact such records to the extent necessary to protect personal privacy interests before adding them to the electronic reading room.

PBGC is amending its FOIA regulation by increasing the appeal deadline from 30 to 90 days, in conformity with the 90-day minimum time period established by the 2016 Act.

To read the entire final rule, click here.

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

IRS updates 2017 revenue procedures
In an Internal Revenue Bulletin, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published various revenue procedures, revised for 2017, for issuing letters, rulings, determination letters, and technical advice on specific issues related to employee benefits.

To read the bulletin, click here.

PBGC posts 2017 premium filing instructions
The Comprehensive Premium Filing Instructions for 2017 Plan Years has been approved by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and is now available on the website of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

To read the filing instructions, click here.

PBGC issues RFI for approving certain alternative methods for computing withdrawal liability
The PBGC is requesting information from the public on issues arising from arrangements between employers and multiemployer plans involving an alternative “two-pool” withdrawal liability method.

PBGC seeks information from the general public and all interested stakeholders, including multiemployer plan participants and beneficiaries, organizations serving or representing retirees and other such individuals, multiemployer plan sponsors and professional advisors, and contributing employers, unions, and other interested parties, about these arrangements, including the various forms they may take, the terms and conditions that apply to new and existing contributing employers who enter into such arrangements, and the benefits and risks these arrangements may present to multiemployer plans and their participants, employers, the multiemployer pension insurance program, and other stakeholders in the multiemployer system.

For more information, click here.

FAQ update on preapproved plan adopting employers
The IRS has updated a series of frequently asked questions (FAQ) providing guidance to employers adopting preapproved retirement plans.

To learn more, click here.

 

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

Revised favorable determination letter publication
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a revised version of Publication 794, “Favorable determination letter.” The publication explains the significance of a favorable determination letter, points out some features that may affect the qualified status of an employee retirement plan and nullify the determination letter without specific notice from the IRS, and provides general information on the reporting requirements for the plan.

To download the entire publication, click here.

PBGC final rule: Appendix D to Part 4044 amended with Table I-17
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued a final rule amending Appendix D to Part 4044 with Table 1-17 for determining expected retirement ages for participants in pension plans undergoing distress or involuntary termination with valuation dates falling in 2016.

To read the entire final rule, click here.

Booklet on automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans
The IRS and the Department of Labor (DoL) released “Automatic enrollment 401(k) plans,” which provides an overview of the defined contribution plan feature. The publication contains a checklist to assist an employer when establishing an automatic enrollment.

To download the entire publication, click here.

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

IRS releases guidance on pension equity plans
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-67, which describes the applicability of the market rate of return limitation rules to defined benefit plans expressing a participant’s accumulated benefit as the current value of an accumulated percentage of the participant’s final average compensation, highest average compensation, or highest average compensation during a limited period of years (a type of plan often referred to as a “pension equity plan” or “PEP”).

To read the entire notice, click here.

Agencies release advance informational copies of the 2016 Form 5500
The Employee Benefits Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL), the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) released advance informational copies of the 2016 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions.

For more information, click here.

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

IRS announces pension plan limits for 2017
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2017. The IRS issued technical guidance detailing these items in Notice 2016-62.

For more information, click here.

Private pension plan bulletin abstract of 2014 Form 5500 annual report
The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) published its Private Pension Plan Bulletin featuring highlights from the 2014 Form 5500 report. Over the past four decades, as the U.S. private pension system has shifted from defined benefit (DB) plans toward defined contribution (DC) plans, often 401(k) type DC plans, the financing of retirement benefits has shifted from employers to participants. In 1978, when legislation was enacted authorizing 401(k) type plans that allow employees to contribute to their own retirement plan on a pretax basis, participants made 29% of the contributions to DC plans and only 11% of total contributions to all DB and DC pension plans. In the years following 1978, employee contributions to DC plans steadily rose to a peak of approximately 60% in 1999, where it has remained. Other findings from Form 5500 series reports for 2014 plan years are summarized in the bulletin.

To download the bulletin, click here.

PBGC announces guarantee limit for 2017
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced that, as a result of the indexing rules provided in ERISA, the guarantee limits for single-employer plans that fail in 2017 will be 7.1% higher than the limits that applied for 2015 and 2016. A table showing the single-employer plan guarantee limits for various ages and payment forms is available on the PBGC’s website. The guarantee limits for multiemployer plans are not indexed and therefore have not changed.

To view the maximum monthly guarantee tables, click here.
For more information on multiemployer benefit guarantees, click here.

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

PBGC posts 2017 premium rates
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has updated its “Premium Rates” web page to show premium rates for 2017.

Flat-rate premiums
The per-participant flat premium rate for plan years beginning in 2017 is $69 for single-employer plans (up from a 2016 rate of $64) and $28 for multiemployer plans (up from a 2016 rate of $27).

The increase in the single-employer rate was provided in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The increase in the multiemployer rate is the result of indexing.

Variable-rate premiums (single-employer plans only)
For plan years beginning in 2017, the variable-rate premium (VRP) for single-employer plans is $34 per $1,000 of unfunded vested benefits (UVBs), up from a 2016 rate of $30. This $4 increase reflects a $3 increase provided in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 plus a $1 increase that is due to indexing.

For 2017, the VRP is capped at $517 times the number of participants (up from a 2016 cap of $500). Plans sponsored by small employers (generally fewer than 25 employees) may be subject to a lower cap.

For more information, click here.

IRS issues directive concerning EP determinations on pension equity plans
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) release a new memorandum (TE/GE-07-1016-0026) that supersedes memorandum #TEGE-07-1114-0028, dated October 9, 2014. The new memo provides direction to employee plan (EP) contract labor (R&A) employees on the application of the accrued benefit rules under section 411(b)(1)(G) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to pending requests for determination letters by PEPs.

To read the entire memo, click here.

IRS announces retirement plans can make loans, hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Matthew
The IRS announced that 401(k) and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Matthew and members of their families.

Retirement plans can provide this relief to employees and certain members of their families who live or work in disaster area localities affected by Hurricane Matthew and designated for individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Currently, parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida qualify for individual assistance. For a complete list of eligible counties, visit fema.gov. To qualify for this relief, hardship withdrawals must be made by March 15, 2017.

The IRS is also relaxing procedural and administrative rules that normally apply to retirement plan loans and hardship distributions. As a result, eligible retirement plan participants will be able to access their money more quickly with a minimum of red tape. In addition, the six-month ban on 401(k) and 403(b) contributions that normally affects employees who take hardship distributions will not apply.

For more information, click here.