PBGC Wants Notice of Pension Risk Transfer Moves

September 29, 2014 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is requesting that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve a revised collection of information under its Payment of Premium regulations. 

PBGC intends to revise the 2015 filing procedures and instructions to, among other things, require reporting of certain undertakings to cash out or annuitize benefits for a specified group of former employees. 

Pension risk transfer actions by defined benefit plan sponsors, such as annuitizing all or a portion of participants’ benefits and offering a lump-sum window for certain participant groups, are growing in frequency. Most recently, Motorola Solutions announced it is taking both actions for its pension plan (see “Motorola Announces Pension Transfer, Lump-Sum Window”). 

In premium filings, plan sponsors report the flat-rate premium and related data (all plans), the variable-rate premium and related data (single-employer plans), and additional data such as identifying information and miscellaneous plan-related or filing-related data (all plans). PBGC says it needs this information to identify the plans for which premiums are paid, to verify whether the amounts paid are correct, to help it determine the magnitude of its exposure in the event of plan termination, to help track the creation of new plans and transfer of participants and plan assets and liabilities among plans, and to keep its insured-plan inventory up to date. 

In its notice, the PBGC said it intends to update the premium rates and make conforming, clarifying, and editorial changes. 

The agency is requesting comments about its proposed changes. More information is in the Federal Register for September 23.