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PBGC Proposes New Form for Coverage Determination Info

Practice Management

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) plans to seek the approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of a form and instructions that will enable it to obtain information it needs to make coverage determinations. The PBGC made the announcement on Dec. 3.

The proposed form and instructions would be used by a plan sponsor or plan
administrator to request a coverage determination and would be suitable for all types of requests. The form would highlight the four plan types for which coverage determinations are
most frequently requested:

  1. church plans as listed in ERISA Section 4021(b)(3);
  2. plans that are established and maintained exclusively for the benefit of plan sponsors’ substantial owners as listed in ERISA Section 4021(b)(9);
  3. plans covering, since Sept. 2, 1974, no more than 25 active participants that are established and maintained by professional services employers as listed in ERISA Section 4021(b)(13); and
  4. Puerto Rico-based plans under ERISA Section 1022(i)(1).

The PBGC says that it needs this information collection to determine whether a plan is covered or not covered under title IV of ERISA. Information provided to PBGC would be confidential to the extent provided in the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Comments Welcome

The PBGC seeks public comment on the proposed form and instructions. It says that such input will help it to:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  4. minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g. permitting electronic submission of responses.

Comments must be submitted on or before 60 days after the announcement is published in the Federal Register, Dec. 4, 2018. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

  • Through the federal eRulemaking Portal:
  • By email to:
  • By mail or hand delivery to: Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005–4026

All submissions received must include the agency’s name (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, or PBGC) and refer to the Coverage Determination Request Form.