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PBGC Proposes Reporting Changes for Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has requested that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve modifications to the information that plans report on Schedules MB and SB of Form 5500. The proposed modifications, along with a request for comments, was published in the February 21, 2014 issue of the Federal Register and may be found at this link.

Action Needed Now: Plan sponsors should decide whether they want to submit comments on the proposed changes. Comments are due by April 22, 2014.

Background

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) multiemployer and single-employer defined benefit pension plans generally are required to file an annual information return (Form 5500) with the Department of Labor (DOL) that includes an actuarial schedule (Schedule MB for a multiemployer plan and Schedule SB for a single-employer plan). The Form 5500 and related schedules combine the reporting requirements of the PBGC, DOL, and the Internal Revenue Service. The actuarial schedules provide information concerning whether the plan has satisfied the funding requirements of the law.

The Proposed Modifications

The PBGC proposes to modify the information reported with the schedules MB and SB that are filed with the Form 5500. The proposal does not indicate whether the schedules will be changed, or whether the additional information would be required in the form of attachments to the existing schedules. Also, the proposal does not indicate the plan year for which the additional information would first be required.

Multiemployer Plans

The proposed modifications to the reporting on Schedule MB would require plan administrators to:

  • specify the documentation required regarding progress under the applicable funding improvement or rehabilitation plan,
  • for plans in critical status, provide information about the plan year in which the plan is projected to emerge from critical status, and
  • if the rehabilitation plan is based on forestalling insolvency, indicate the plan year in which insolvency is expected.

Single-employer Plans

The proposed modifications to the reporting on Schedule SB would require plan administrators to report the funding target (vested and total) for each type of participant (active, retired, and terminated vested).

Cheiron Observation: The proposed modifications will add burden to all plans. Furthermore, for multiemployer plans, it is not necessarily required that a rehabilitation plan based upon forestalling insolvency specify a particular year. Regulations under the relevant sections of the law have not been issued, and the sections of the law dealing with the zone status of multiemployer plans will expire this year (although the funding improvement plans and rehabilitation plans in existence will continue).

Comments Requested

The PBGC has specifically requested comments as to:

  • evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility,
  • evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodologies and assumptions used,
  • enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and
  • minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond.

Comments are due by April 22, 2014. Comments can be submitted in several different ways:

  • by using the Federal eRulemaking portal at: http://www.regulations.gov and following the instructions on the website;
  • by E-mail to: paperwork.comments@pbgc.gov;
  • by Fax to: 202-326-4224;
  • by Mail to: Regulatory Affairs Group, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005-4026; or
  • by Hand Delivery to the above address.

If you have any questions about how the proposed reporting modifications may impact your plan, please contact your Cheiron consultant.

Cheiron is an actuarial consulting firm that provides actuarial and consulting advice. However, we are neither attorneys nor accountants. Therefore, we do not provide legal services or tax advice.

 
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