Regulatory roundup

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

Social Security announces 2.8% increase for 2019
The Social Security Administration has announced that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 67 million Americans will increase by 2.8% in 2019.

For 2019, the Social Security taxable wage base will increase to $132,900 from $128,400 in 2018. The Social Security Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) tax rate will remain at 6.2% on wages up to the $132,900 wage base.

The Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) tax rate will remain at 1.45% on all wages. However, earned income exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) also remains subject to an additional 0.9% Medicare HI tax. The earned income amount was set by law in 2013.

To download SSA’s cost-of-living-adjustment fact sheet, click here.

PBGC releases 2019 premium rates
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) updated premium rates for 2019 after reflecting increases and indexing required by section 4006 of ERISA, as amended by The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

To see the new premium rates, click here.

PBGC requests OMB approval with modifications of reportable events and certain other notification requirements
The PBGC is requesting that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) extend approval of PBGC’s regulation on Reportable Events and Certain Other Notification Requirements with modifications

In this renewal request, the PBGC is proposing that all reportable events filings include controlled group information, company financial statements, and the plan’s actuarial valuation report. Currently there are five reportable events where some or all of that information isn’t required. All three types of information would be added to two of these events (“Active Participant Reduction” and “Distribution to a Substantial Owner”). One type of information would be added to two events (“Transfer of Benefit Liabilities” and “Change in Contributing Sponsor or Controlled Group”), and two types to one event (“Extraordinary Dividend or Stock Redemption”).

These reporting requirements give PBGC notice of events that may indicate plan or employer financial problems. The additional information is needed to help PBGC determine a sponsor’s ability to continue to maintain a pension plan.

PBGC enhances Section 4062(e) web page
The PBGC has expanded and modified the information on pbgc.gov related to liability that may arise when an employer ceases operations at a facility under ERISA section 4062(e), as amended by Public Law 113-235. The revised web page provides basic information about 4062(e), answers to frequently asked questions, and information on reporting to PBGC.

To see the revised web page, click here.

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