The IRS has released information on multiemployer pension plan financial assistance in conjunction with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Basically, the IRS and the PBGC announced an interim final rule implementing a Special Financial Assistance Program for troubled plans. Chiefly the financially troubled plans would be multiemployer-defined benefit pension plans. Previously, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated its nonqualified plans audit guide for affected employers.
Background of the Pension Plan Financial Assistance Program
Earlier, on March 11th, 2021, President Joseph Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). Markedly, ARP contained provisions to provide an estimated $94 billion in assistance to severely underfunded eligible plans. Additionally, it assists benefit pension plans by offering funds to reinstate previously suspended benefits. Also, ARP addresses the solvency of PBGC’s Multiemployer Insurance Program, which was to become insolvent in 2026.
Overview of the Special Financial Assistance Program
In summary, the interim final rule sets forth the following:
- Details eligibility requirements for plans seeking to enter the Special Financial Assistance Program.
- Provides the formula for determining the amount PBGC will pay to a plan under the program.
- Identifies the priority order in which plans can apply.
- Outlines the processing system used to handle the filing and review of applications in a limited amount of time.
- Specifies any permissible investments able to be included for Special Financial Assistance Program funds.
- Establishes certain restrictions and conditions on plans that receive Special Financial Assistance Program funds.
In conclusion, the interim final rule on pension plan financial assistance is available as of July 9th, 2021. Additionally, the interim final rule is available at FederalRegister.gov, published in the Federal Register on July 12th, 2021. Lastly, the PBGC has included a 30-day public comment period in this rulemaking from July 12. Accordingly, any interested parties may submit comments, suggestions, and views on the rule’s provisions at email@example.com or www.regulations.gov.