[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 19 (Wednesday, January 29, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 4642-4647]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01337]


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PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION

29 CFR Parts 4041A, 4231, and 4281

RIN 1212-AB13


Multiemployer Plans; Valuation and Notice Requirements

AGENCY: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: PBGC is proposing to amend its multiemployer regulations to 
make the provision of information to PBGC and plan participants more 
efficient and effective and to reduce burden on plans and sponsors. The 
amendments would reduce the number of actuarial valuations required for 
certain small terminated but not insolvent plans, shorten the advance 
notice filing requirements for mergers in situations that do not 
involve a compliance determination, and remove certain insolvency 
notice and update requirements. The amendments are a result of PBGC's 
regulatory review under Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and 
Regulatory Review).

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before March 31, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Comments, identified by Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 
1212-AB13, may be submitted by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the Web site instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: reg.comments@pbgc.gov.
     Fax: 202-326-4224.
     Mail or hand delivery: Regulatory Affairs Group, Office of 
the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K 
Street NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026.

All submissions must include the Regulation Identifier Number for this 
rulemaking (RIN 1212-AB13). Comments received, including personal 
information provided, will be posted to www.pbgc.gov. Copies of 
comments may also be obtained by writing to Disclosure Division, Office 
of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K 
Street NW., Washington DC 20005-4026, or calling 202-326-4500 during 
normal business hours. (TTY and TDD users may call the Federal relay 
service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-
4500.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine B. Klion 
(klion.catherine@pbgc.gov), Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory 
Affairs, or Daniel Liebman (liebman.daniel@pbgc.gov), Attorney, Office 
of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K 
Street NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026; 202-326-4024. (TTY/TDD users may 
call the Federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to 
be connected to 202-326-4024.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Summary--Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is proposing to 
amend certain regulations governing its multiemployer program to make 
the provision of information to PBGC and plan participants more 
efficient and effective. This rule is needed to reduce burden on 
multiemployer plans and sponsors and to facilitate potentially 
beneficial plan merger transactions. The rule would reduce burden by 
allowing certain small terminated but not insolvent plans to provide 
valuations less frequently, easing reporting requirements for plan 
sponsors contemplating a merger transaction, and streamlining and 
removing certain notice requirements for insolvent plans.\1\ These 
requirements impose administrative costs and reduce plan assets that 
could otherwise be used to fund plan benefits.
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    \1\ Under 29 CFR 4041A.2, ``insolvent'' means that a plan is 
unable to pay benefits when due during the plan year.
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    PBGC's legal authority for this regulatory action comes from 
section 4002(b)(3) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 
1974 (ERISA), which authorizes PBGC to issue regulations to carry out 
the purposes of title IV of ERISA; section 4041A(f)(2), which gives 
PBGC authority to prescribe reporting requirements for terminated 
plans; section 4231(a), which gives PBGC authority to prescribe 
regulations setting the requirements for one or more multiemployer 
plans to merge; and section 4281(d), which directs PBGC to prescribe by 
regulation the notice requirements to plan participants and 
beneficiaries in the event of a benefit suspension.

Executive Summary--Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action

Annual Valuations

    When a multiemployer plan terminates, the plan must perform an 
annual valuation of the plan's assets and benefits. This proposed rule 
would allow valuations for plans that were terminated by mass 
withdrawal but are not insolvent and where the value of nonforfeitable 
benefits is $25 million or

[[Page 4643]]

less to be performed every three years instead of annually as required 
under the current regulations.

Filing Requirements for Mergers

    Under the current regulations, a merger or a transfer of assets and 
liabilities between multiemployer plans must satisfy certain 
requirements, including a requirement that plan sponsors of all plans 
involved in a merger or transfer must jointly file a notice with PBGC 
120 days before the transaction. This proposed rule would shorten the 
notice period to 45 days where no compliance determination is 
requested.

Insolvency Notices and Updates

    Terminated multiemployer plans that determine that they will be 
insolvent for a plan year must provide a series of notices and updates 
to notices to PBGC and participants and beneficiaries, including a 
notice of insolvency. The proposed rule would eliminate the requirement 
to provide annual updates to the notice of insolvency.

Background

    PBGC administers two insurance programs for private-sector defined 
benefit plans under title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security 
Act of 1974 (ERISA): A single-employer plan termination insurance 
program and a multiemployer plan insolvency insurance program.
    A multiemployer plan is a collectively bargained pension 
arrangement involving several employers that are not within the same 
controlled group, usually in a common industry, such as construction, 
trucking, textiles, or coal mining. By contrast, a single-employer plan 
may be sponsored by either one employer (pursuant or not pursuant to a 
collective bargaining agreement) or by several unrelated employers (but 
not pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement).
    ERISA section 4041A provides for two types of multiemployer plan 
terminations: mass withdrawal and plan amendment. A mass withdrawal 
termination occurs when all employers withdraw or cease to be obligated 
to contribute to the plan. A plan amendment termination occurs when the 
plan adopts an amendment that provides that participants will receive 
no credit for service with any employer after a specified date, or an 
amendment that makes it no longer a covered plan. Unlike terminated 
single-employer plans, terminated multiemployer plans continue to pay 
all vested benefits out of existing plan assets and withdrawal 
liability payments. PBGC's guarantee of the benefits in a multiemployer 
plan--payable as financial assistance to the plan--starts only if and 
when the plan is unable to make payments at the statutorily guaranteed 
level.
    This proposed rule would reduce certain requirements for 
multiemployer plans that are terminated by mass withdrawal and mergers 
and transfers among multiemployer plans.
    On January 18, 2011, the President issued Executive Order 13563 
``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' to ensure that Federal 
regulations seek more affordable, less intrusive means to achieve 
policy goals, and that agencies give careful consideration to the 
benefits and costs of those regulations. PBGC's Plan for Regulatory 
Review,\2\ identifies several regulatory areas for review, including 
the multiemployer regulations referred to above.
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    \2\ See http://www.pbgc.gov/documents/plan-for-regulatory-review.pdf.
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    This proposed rule would amend those regulations to reduce burden 
on plans and sponsors. PBGC will continue to review its regulations 
with a view to developing more ideas for improvement. Public comment on 
these specific proposals will help PBGC determine whether its 
regulatory review process is moving in the right direction.

Proposed Regulatory Changes

Annual Valuation Requirement

    ERISA section 4281(b) provides that the value of nonforfeitable 
benefits under a terminated plan to which section 4041A(d) applies, and 
the value of the plan's assets shall be determined in writing as of the 
end of the plan year during which section 4041A(d) becomes applicable, 
and each plan year thereafter. Part 4041A of PBGC's regulations 
establishes rules for notifying PBGC of the termination of a 
multiemployer plan and rules for the administration of multiemployer 
plans that have terminated by mass withdrawal. Subpart C prescribes 
basic duties of plan sponsors of plans terminated by mass withdrawal, 
including the annual valuation requirement at Sec.  4041A.24. Section 
4281.11(a) states that the valuation dates for the annual valuation 
required under section 4281(b) of ERISA shall be the last day of the 
plan year in which the plan terminates and the last day of each plan 
year thereafter. The details of the annual valuation requirement are 
set forth in the remainder of Subpart B of Part 4281, Duties of Plan 
Sponsor Following Mass Withdrawal.
    The annual valuation requirement serves the statutory purpose of 
allowing the terminated plan to determine whether it needs to eliminate 
benefits that are not eligible for PBGC's guarantee. However, once the 
plan has reached the point where it has eliminated all nonguaranteed 
benefits, further valuations serve only to help PBGC estimate the 
liabilities it will incur when the plan becomes insolvent. While 
measuring PBGC's liabilities annually provides PBGC with information 
needed to understand its potential exposure, the requirement to do so 
results in the plan using scarce resources, at a potentially 
significant cost, for a limited purpose.\3\ This may result in a faster 
diminution of assets that could lead to a reduced ability to pay plan 
benefits, a quicker insolvency, and an earlier elimination of any 
nonforfeitable benefits that exceed PBGC's statutory guarantee.
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    \3\ Once a plan terminates, professional and administrative 
costs of paying plan benefits and continuing regulatory compliance 
come out of plan assets without additional contributions being made 
by the former employers as would be the case prior to termination. 
Thus, with the exception of the potential inflow of some funds from 
withdrawal liability recoveries, plan assets continue to decrease in 
a wasting trust.
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    PBGC is proposing to amend Sec.  4041A.24 to ensure that PBGC has 
reasonably reliable data to measure its liabilities without 
significantly depleting plan assets. Terminated plans that are not 
insolvent and where the value of nonforfeitable benefits is $25 million 
or less (as of the valuation date of the most recent required 
valuation), would be required to perform the next valuation in 
accordance with Subpart B of Part 4281 three years later instead of the 
following year as under the current regulation. To comply with the 
statutory requirement that there be a written determination of the 
value of nonforfeitable benefits each year, such plans may use the most 
recently performed valuation for the next two plan years.
    All other plans would continue to be required to perform valuations 
in accordance with Subpart B of Part 4281 annually.\4\ Plans could move 
in and out of the three-year or annual valuation cycle, as applicable, 
as the value of nonforfeitable benefits changes. Thus, a plan that had 
been performing new valuations every three years would be required to 
perform valuations annually if the next valuation indicates that the 
value of nonforfeitable benefits exceeds

[[Page 4644]]

$25 million. Similarly, a plan that has been performing the valuation 
annually would only have to do the next valuation in accordance with 
Subpart B of Part 4281 in three years if the most recent valuation 
shows the value of nonforfeitable benefits to be $25 million or less. 
This amendment would target the plans that expose PBGC to larger 
liability, while reducing burden on plans that present smaller 
exposure.
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    \4\ There are two other exceptions to the requirement that a 
valuation be performed each plan year that are preserved from the 
current regulation. No valuation is required for a plan year (1) for 
which the plan receives financial assistance from PBGC under section 
4261 of ERISA, or (2) in which the plan is closed out in accordance 
with subpart D of Part 4041A.
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    PBGC believes that this change appropriately balances PBGC's need 
to fairly measure its exposure with minimizing the cost to plans and 
potentially to participants.

Advance Notice of Multiemployer Mergers

    ERISA section 4231 sets forth the statutory requirements for 
mergers of two or more multiemployer plans and transfers of plan assets 
or benefit liabilities among two or more multiemployer plans, including 
a requirement that a plan must give 120 days' advance notice of a 
merger or transfer to PBGC. Part 4231 of PBGC regulations implements 
this statutory requirement.
    29 CFR 4231.8 provides that plan sponsors of all plans involved in 
a merger or transfer, or their duly authorized representatives, must 
jointly file a notice with PBGC 120 days in advance of the transaction. 
The notice must include information about the plans, the plan sponsors, 
the transaction, the proposed effective date, a copy of each provision 
stating that no participant's or beneficiary's accrued benefit will be 
lower immediately after the effective date of the transaction than the 
benefit immediately before that date, and various actuarial and plan 
asset and benefit valuation information.
    The purpose of the notice provision is to confirm that plan 
sponsors have met the four criteria listed in section 4231(b) for a 
statutory transaction.\5\ Plan sponsors may request a determination 
from PBGC that a merger or transfer that may otherwise be prohibited by 
sections 406(a) or (b)(2) of ERISA satisfies the requirements of ERISA 
section 4231.\6\ Under Sec.  4231.8(f), PBGC may waive the statutory 
notice requirement.\7\
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    \5\ The four criteria under section 4231(b) are:
    (1) The 120-day notice requirement is met.
    (2) No accrued benefits will be lower immediately after the 
transaction's effective date than immediately before that date.
    (3) Benefits are not reasonably expected to be subject to 
suspension under ERISA section 4245.
    (4) The applicable actuarial valuation of assets and liabilities 
of each affected plan has been performed.
    \6\ See Sec.  4231.3(b). Plan sponsors requesting a compliance 
determination must submit the information required by Sec.  4231.9 
in addition to the information required by Sec.  4231.8.
    \7\ In 1998, PBGC amended its regulations to expand the 
applicability of the waiver of this notice under Sec.  4231.8(f). 
Prior to that amendment, the requirement for 120 days' notice could 
be waived only if PBGC was satisfied that failure to complete the 
transaction in a shorter time would harm participants or 
beneficiaries. However, at the time PBGC was typically completing 
its reviews in 60 to 90 days, and there was usually no reason to 
wait the full 120 days. Thus, the regulation was amended to also 
permit a merger or transfer to be consummated if PBGC determined 
that the transaction complied with ERISA section 4231, or PBGC 
completed its review of the transaction. See 63 FR 24421 (May 4, 
1998).
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    However, PBGC now believes that the interests of PBGC and plan 
participants involved in such transactions are adequately protected by 
other parts of ERISA, particularly Title I, and there is little benefit 
to having such a long period to merely confirm that the notice 
requirements have been met.
    Thus, to reduce burden, PBGC is proposing to shorten the advance 
notice period to 45 days for transactions that do not involve a 
compliance determination under Sec.  4231.9. PBGC's experience has been 
that many merger requests are received by PBGC with less than 120 days' 
notice and ask for a waiver of the notice requirement so that the 
merger can proceed as of the end of the plan year. The change to 45 
days would avoid the need for a waiver and still allow PBGC enough time 
to review these later filed requests. PBGC believes the change to 45 
days would strike the appropriate balance to better accommodate work 
flows and end of year rushes for both plan sponsors and PBGC staff. The 
current reporting requirements would remain in effect where a 
compliance determination is requested, as well as for transactions 
involving a transfer of plan assets or benefit liabilities, because 
those transactions may require a substantive investigation by PBGC that 
may well require more than 45 days to complete.\8\
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    \8\ Transfers take more time for PBGC to analyze than mergers, 
primarily because of the need to perform a rigorous solvency test 
that is not needed for merger transactions. Because assets are 
leaving a plan, PBGC analyzes a transfer to make sure there are 
adequate assets available to fund the remaining benefit obligations 
and the receiving plan can adequately fund its obligations. In a 
merger, the assets and liabilities are combined and therefore the 
same types of concerns are not present.
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Annual Notice Updates Following Mass Withdrawal

    When a multiemployer plan terminates by mass withdrawal under ERISA 
section 4041A(a)(2), the plan's assets and benefits are required to be 
valued annually and plan benefits may have to be reduced or suspended 
to the extent provided in ERISA section 4281(c) or (d). A terminated 
multiemployer plan that determines that it will be insolvent for a plan 
year must provide a series of notices and updates to notices to PBGC 
and participants and beneficiaries under part 4281 of PBGC's 
regulations.
    Once the plan projects that it can only pay benefits at the PBGC 
guarantee level, ERISA section 4281.43(b) requires the plan to issue a 
notice of insolvency and annual updates to PBGC and plan participants 
and beneficiaries. Subpart D of Part 4281 of PBGC's regulations sets 
forth the notice requirements for a terminated plan when plan assets 
are sufficient to pay PBGC guaranteed benefits, but not sufficient to 
pay at the promised plan level. In such situations, the plan sponsor 
must determine what benefits the assets will cover, and suspend 
benefits above that amount. At all times, however, the plan has a 
``floor'' benefit set at the PBGC guarantee level (i.e., benefits 
cannot be suspended to an amount that would pay less than the 
guarantee).\9\
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    \9\ The floor benefit is set for each participant at the 
participant's retirement.
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    At the time this regulation was first issued, PBGC anticipated that 
a plan's insolvency would be short in duration and that it could 
financially recover. However, PBGC's experience has been that once a 
multiemployer plan becomes insolvent, it will remain so. Thus, once a 
plan has made the initial notices, there is little need to require 
similar subsequent notices. After reviewing the regulation, PBGC now 
believes that eliminating such annual updates would not pose any 
increase in the risk of loss to PBGC or to plan participants.
    These notice requirements can be detrimental to plan participants 
because the costs of compliance may deplete assets that otherwise would 
be available to pay plan benefits. PBGC's experience is that the rules 
for annual updates to a notice of insolvency can be confusing to 
practitioners. While the incremental cost to the plan is small, PBGC 
believes that the professional time spent understanding the rules and 
other costs in the actual compliance would be better spent on 
benefits.\10\
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    \10\ See footnote 2.
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    Consequently, for these reasons PBGC is proposing to eliminate the 
annual updates to the notice of insolvency.\11\
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    \11\ PBGC is also making a minor change to the insolvency 
notice's content by deleting an outdated reference to IRS Key 
District offices.
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Applicability

    The amendment to Sec.  4041A.24 that would change the annual 
valuation requirement for terminated but not insolvent plans where the 
value of nonforfeitable benefits is $25 million or

[[Page 4645]]

less would be applicable to the first post-termination valuation after 
the effective date of the final rule.
    The amendment to Sec.  4231.8 that would change the notification 
requirements for a proposed merger would be applicable to mergers 
planned to be consummated on or after the 45th day after the effective 
date of the final rule.
    The amendment to Sec.  4281.43 that would eliminate the annual 
update notices to PBGC and participants and beneficiaries would be 
applicable as of the effective date of the final rule.
    PBGC invites comments on whether a longer applicability period 
would better effectuate the purposes of these amendments.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    PBGC has determined, in consultation with the Office of Management 
and Budget, that this rule is not a ``significant regulatory action'' 
under Executive Order 12866.
    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting 
flexibility. This rule is associated with retrospective review and 
analysis in PBGC's Plan for Regulatory Review issued in accordance with 
Executive Order 13563.
    Under Section 3(f)(1) of Executive Order 12866, a regulatory action 
is economically significant if ``it is likely to result in a rule that 
may . . . [h]ave an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or 
more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities.'' PBGC has determined that this proposed rule does not 
cross the $100 million threshold for economic significance and is not 
otherwise economically significant.
    As explained below, PBGC estimates that aggregate annual savings 
from the combined regulatory changes would be about $460,000.

Annual Valuation Requirement

    PBGC has estimated the value of this proposed rule on the annual 
valuation requirement for plans terminated by mass withdrawal. As of 
the end of its 2012 fiscal year, PBGC's total estimated liability for 
nonforfeitable benefits of the 61 mass withdrawal-terminated plans that 
were not insolvent was $1.7 billion. Of that total, there were 23 plans 
in the over $25 million category; such plans constituted nearly 80 
percent of such liabilities in all 61 terminated plans, thus preserving 
a high degree of exactitude for PBGC's measurement of its financial 
contingencies. At the same time, each year that the 38 plans where the 
value of nonforfeitable benefits was $25 million or less would not have 
to do an annual valuation, there would be an annual aggregate savings 
of approximately $399,000 (assuming an annual valuation cost of $10,500 
per plan) to these plans. These savings would grow as the terminated 
plan universe grows.

Advance Notice of Multiemployer Mergers

    PBGC believes that reducing the required notice period in advance 
of a proposed merger transaction from 120 days to 45 days prior to the 
effectiveness of the merger would result in a small decrease in 
administrative burden on plan sponsors. By reducing the notice period, 
PBGC expects that there will be less interaction between plan sponsors, 
their representatives, and PBGC staff to address timing and approval 
issues. PBGC estimates that 18 plans submit advance notice of a merger 
in a given year. PBGC further estimates that an affected plan would 
save about one-quarter hour of professional time, at $350 per hour, and 
one-quarter hour managerial time, at $115 per hour, resulting in an 
aggregate annual savings of $2,093, as a result of the reduced length 
of the notice period.

Annual Notice Updates Following Mass Withdrawal

    PBGC estimates that the annual aggregate cost of conducting the 
annual insolvency update is $61,425. This estimate is based on an 
estimated 54 plans required to issue the update annually at 12.5 hours 
of combined professional, clerical, and managerial time at an average 
rate of $91 per hour. Eliminating the annual update would save plan 
sponsors approximately $1,138 each per year and $61,425 in the 
aggregate.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act imposes certain requirements with 
respect to rules that are subject to the notice and comment 
requirements of section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act and 
that are likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Unless an agency determines that a proposed 
rule is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities, section 603 of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act requires that the agency present an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis at the time of the publication of the proposed 
rule describing the impact of the rule on small entities and seeking 
public comment on such impact. Small entities include small businesses, 
organizations and governmental jurisdictions.
    For purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requirements with 
respect to this proposed rule, PBGC considers a small entity to be a 
plan with fewer than 100 participants. This is the same criterion PBGC 
uses in other aspects of its regulations involving small plans, and is 
consistent with certain requirements in Title I of ERISA and the 
Internal Revenue Code, as well as the definition of a small entity that 
the Department of Labor (DOL) has used for purposes of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. Using this proposed definition, less than one percent 
of the 26,100 of plans covered by Title IV of ERISA in 2011 were small 
multiemployer plans.\12\
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    \12\ Although PBGC does not have data on multiemployer plans 
with fewer than 100 participants, approximately 165 multiemployer 
plans have 250 participants or fewer. See http://www.pbgc.gov/Documents/pension-insurance-data-tables-2010.pdf.
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    Further, PBGC is not aware of a multiemployer plan that was 
established and covered by ERISA that was not initially a large plan. 
Generally it is only after a plan terminates and employers withdraw 
from the plan that a plan might reduce in size to fewer than 100 
participants. Thus, PBGC believes that assessing the impact of the 
proposal on small plans is an appropriate substitute for evaluating the 
effect on small entities. The definition of small entity considered 
appropriate for this purpose differs, however, from a definition of 
small business based on size standards promulgated by the Small 
Business Administration (13 CFR 121.201) pursuant to the Small Business 
Act. PBGC therefore requests comments on the appropriateness of the 
size standard used in evaluating the impact on small entities of the 
proposed amendments to the reportable events regulation.
    On the basis of its proposed definition of small entity, PBGC 
certifies under section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq.) that the amendments in this rule would not

[[Page 4646]]

have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. Based on data for the 2012 fiscal year, PBGC estimates that 
61 plans, very few of which would be considered a small plan, would be 
required to do the valuation requirement (19 would be required to 
perform the valuation annually while 42 would do so every three years). 
Seventeen plans, very few of which would be considered a small plan, 
would be required to submit a notice of proposed merger. Fifty-four 
plans, very few of which would be considered a small plan, would be 
relieved of the burden to issue an annual insolvency update. 
Accordingly, as provided in section 605 of the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), sections 603 and 604 would not apply. PBGC 
invites public comment on this burden estimate.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    PBGC is submitting the information requirements under this proposed 
rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and 
approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act. An agency may not conduct 
or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of 
information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.
    The collection of information in Part 4231 is approved under 
control number 1212-0022 (expires March 31, 2014). PBGC estimates that 
there will be 21 respondents each year and that the total annual burden 
of the collection of information will be about 5 hours and $6,900.
    The collection of information in Part 4281 is approved under 
control number 1212-0032 (expires May 31, 2014). PBGC estimates that 
there will be 378 respondents each year and that the total annual 
burden of the collection of information will be about 6,160 hours and 
$43,050.
    The collection of information in Part 4041A is not affected by this 
proposed rule.
    Copies of PBGC's requests are posted at http://www.pbgc.gov/res/laws-and-regulations/information-collections-under-omb-review.html and 
may also be obtained free of charge by contacting the Disclosure 
Division of the Office of the General Counsel of PBGC, 1200 K Street 
NW., Washington, DC 20005, 202-326-4040. PBGC is proposing the 
following changes to these information requirements:
     PBGC proposes to change the requirement to provide advance 
notice to PBGC of a proposed merger from 120 days prior to the 
effective date of the merger to 45 days.
     PBGC proposes to eliminate the requirement to provide 
annual insolvency updates to PBGC and participants.
    Comments on the paperwork provisions under this proposed rule 
should be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 
Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for Pension 
Benefit Guaranty Corporation, via electronic mail at OIRA_DOCKET@omb.eop.gov or by fax to (202) 395-6974. Although comments may 
be submitted through March 31, 2014, the Office of Management and 
Budget requests that comments be received on or before February 28, 
2014 to ensure their consideration. Comments may address (among other 
things)--
     Whether each proposed collection of information is needed 
for the proper performance of PBGC's functions and will have practical 
utility;
     The accuracy of PBGC's estimate of the burden of each 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
     Enhancement of the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
     Minimizing the burden of each 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.

List of Subjects

29 CFR Part 4041A

    Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

29 CFR Part 4231

    Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

29 CFR Part 4281

    Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons given above, PBGC proposes to amend 29 CFR Parts 
4041A, 4231, and 4281 as follows:

PART 4041A--TERMINATION OF MULTIEMPLOYER PLANS

0
1. The authority citation for part 4041A continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  29 U.S.C. 1302(b)(3), 1341a, 1441.

0
2. Amend Sec.  4041A.24 by:
0
a. Revising the section heading,
0
b. Revising paragraph (a),
0
c. Amending the first sentence of paragraph (b) by removing the word 
``annual''.
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  4041A.24  Plan valuations and monitoring.

    (a) Annual valuation. The plan sponsor shall determine or cause to 
be determined in writing the value of nonforfeitable benefits under the 
plan and the value of the plan's assets, in accordance with part 4281, 
subpart B. This valuation shall be done not later than 150 days after 
the end of the plan year in which the plan terminates and each plan 
year thereafter except as provided in this paragraph. A plan year for 
which a valuation is performed is called a valuation year.
    (1) If the value of nonforfeitable benefits for the plan is $25 
million or less as determined for a valuation year, the plan sponsor 
may use the valuation for the next two plan years and, subject to 
paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) of this section, perform a new valuation 
pursuant to this paragraph for the third plan year after the previous 
valuation year.
    (2) No valuation is required for a plan year for which the plan 
receives financial assistance from PBGC under section 4261 of ERISA.
    (3) No valuation is required for the plan year in which the plan is 
closed out in accordance with subpart D of this part.
* * * * *

PART 4231--MERGERS AND TRANSFERS BETWEEN MULTIEMPLOYER PLANS

0
3. The authority citation for part 4231 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  29 U.S.C. 1302(b)(3), 1411.

0
4. Amend Sec.  4231.8 by:
0
a. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (a)(1).
0
b. Amending paragraph (f)(1) by removing the words ``120 days after 
filing the notice'' and adding in their place the words ``the 
applicable notice period set forth in paragraph (a) of this section''.
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  4231.8  Notice of merger or transfer.

    (a)(1) When to file. Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this 
section, a notice of a proposed merger or transfer must be filed not 
less than 120 days, or not less than 45 days in the case of a merger 
for which a compliance determination under Sec.  4231.9 is not 
requested, before the effective date of the transaction. * * *
* * * * *

[[Page 4647]]

PART 4281--DUTIES OF PLAN SPONSOR FOLLOWING MASS WITHDRAWAL

0
5. The authority citation for part 4281 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  29 U.S.C. 1302(b)(3), 1341(a), 1399(c)(1)(D), and 
1441.


Sec.  4281.43  [Amended]

0
6. Amend Sec.  4281.43 by:
0
a. Revising the section to read ``Notices of Insolvency.''.
0
b. Removing paragraphs (b), (d), and (f); redesignating paragraph (c) 
as paragraph (b); and redesignating paragraph (e) as paragraph (c).


Sec.  4281.44  [Amended]

0
7. Amend Sec.  4281.44 by:
0
a. Revising the section heading to read ``Contents of notices of 
insolvency.''.
0
b. Amending paragraph (a) by removing paragraph (a)(4) and 
redesignating paragraphs (a)(5) through (a)(13) as paragraphs (a)(4) 
through (a)(12), respectively.
0
c. Removing paragraphs (c) and (d).


Sec.  4281.46  [Amended]

0
8. In Sec.  4281.46, paragraph (a) is amended by removing the words 
``Sec.  4281.44(a)(1) through (a)(5) and (a)(7) through (a)(11)'' and 
adding in their place the words ``Sec.  4281.44(a)(1) through (a)(4) 
and (a)(6) through (a)(10)''.


Sec.  4281.47  [Amended]

0
9. In Sec.  4281.47, paragraph (c) is amended by removing the word 
``(a)(5)'' and adding in its place the word ``(a)(4)''.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 16th day of January, 2014.
Joshua Gotbaum,
Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2014-01337 Filed 1-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7709-02-P