PBGC Offers Funding Notice Guidance

September 21, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The nation's private pension insurer released Technical Update 04-4 to offer guidance on whether a plan administrator of an underfunded single-employer defined benefit pension plan must issue a 2004 Participant Notice.

>The notice would inform participants about the funding status of their pension plans and limits on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC) guarantees. The Technical Update ,  which also includes a Model Participant Notice, features an expanded worksheet for determining whether a Participant Notice is required for the 2004 plan year.

>The worksheet is more complex this year than in past plan years because three different interest rate bases can apply for figuring out the plan’s Funded Current Liability Percentage for the five years 2000 through 2005, the agency said in a news release.

>Also Tuesday, the PBGC separately encouraged pension officials to file their required documentation and payments electronically via My Plan Administration Account (My PAA) at  www.pbgc.gov/mypaa.   The secure Web-based application requires no special software, allows filings to be prepared by a variety of people (e.g., enrolled actuaries and plan administrators), and is available for plan years starting in 2004.   All the premium forms can be e-filed, including amended filings, the PBGC said.

>Those who use My PAA can track filings for all their plans on their own “home page”; follow easy filing steps with instant help to more accurately complete filings; pay by ACH, e-check or credit card; and receive instantaneous confirmation that PBGC received their premium filing and payment, the PBGC said in a news release.

>The agency insures private sector traditional pension plans for companies that are ailing or have filed for bankruptcy protection.