2011 PBGC Reportable Event Waivers

As many plan sponsors and benefits practitioners were hoping for, the PBGC recently released Technical Update 10-4 which provides guidance on how to comply with the proposed amendments to the reportable events regulations for the 2011 plan year. The conclusions are very similar to Technical Updates 09-109-3, and 09-4 which provided guidance for the 2009 and 2010 plan years. Similar to the prior pronouncements, the new Technical Update:

–        Extends the waiver of the requirement to report a missed quarterly contribution under ERISA §4043.25. This waiver is valid as long as the plan (1) has fewer than 25 participants or (2) has between 25 and 100 participants and files a simplified notice with the PBGC. In both cases, the reason for the missed quarterly contribution cannot be due to financial inability.

–        Affirms which liability and asset values should be used to calculate the funded status of the plan when determining whether it is eligible for reporting waivers, reporting extensions, or is subject to advance reporting requirements. Consistent with prior Technical Updates, the assets and liabilities used to determine the PBGC variable rate premium for the 2010 plan year should be used to determine reporting requirements for events occurring during the 2011 plan year.

Technical Update 10-4 also provides a hint that final rules are coming soon: it states that the PBGC expects to issue the final amendments to the reportable event regulations sometime in 2011. We’ll see. When the final amended regulations are published, hopefully they will at least contain some of the small plan waivers that have simplified the administration of these plans.

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