U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 26, 2022
(a) In general. This part contains definitions of certain terms used in this chapter and the regulations under which the PBGC makes various controlled group determinations.
(b) Title IV coverage. Coverage by section 4050 of ERISA is not and does not result in or confer coverage by title IV of ERISA.
For purposes of this chapter (unless otherwise indicated or required by the context):
Affected party means, with respect to a plan -
(1) Each participant in the plan;
(2) Each beneficiary of a deceased participant;
(3) Each alternate payee under an applicable qualified domestic relations order, as defined in section 206(d)(3) of ERISA;
(4) Each employee organization that currently represents any group of participants;
(5) For any group of participants not currently represented by an employee organization, the employee organization, if any, that last represented such group of participants within the 5-year period preceding issuance of the notice of intent to terminate; and
(6) The PBGC.
Annuity means a series of periodic payments to a participant or surviving beneficiary for a fixed or contingent period.
Bankruptcy filing date means, with respect to a plan, the date on which a petition commencing a case under the United States Bankruptcy Code is filed, or the date on which any similar filing is made commencing a case under any similar Federal law or law of a State or political subdivision, with respect to the contributing sponsor of the plan, if such case has not been dismissed as of the termination date of the plan. If a bankruptcy petition is filed under one chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code, or under one chapter or provision of any such similar law, and the case is converted to a case under a different chapter or provision of such Code or similar law (for example, a Chapter 11 reorganization case is converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation case), the date of the original petition is the bankruptcy filing date. If such a plan has more than one contributing sponsor:
(1) If all contributing sponsors entered bankruptcy on the same date, that date is the bankruptcy filing date;
(2) If all contributing sponsors did not enter bankruptcy on the same date (or if not all contributing sponsors are in bankruptcy), PBGC will determine the date that will be treated as the bankruptcy filing date based on the facts and circumstances, which may include such things as the relative sizes of the contributing sponsors, the relative amounts of their minimum required contributions to the plan, the timing of the different bankruptcies, and the expectations of participants.
Basic-type benefit means a benefit that is guaranteed under part 4022 of this chapter or that would be guaranteed if the guarantee limits in §§ 4022.22 through 4022.27 of this chapter did not apply. In a PPA 2006 bankruptcy termination, it also includes a benefit accrued by a participant, or to which a participant otherwise became entitled, on or before the plan's termination date but that is not guaranteed solely because of the provisions of §§ 4022.3(b) or 4022.4(c).
Benefit liabilities means the benefits of participants and their beneficiaries under the plan (within the meaning of section 401(a)(2) of the Code).
Code means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
Complete withdrawal means a complete withdrawal as described in section 4203 of ERISA.
Contributing sponsor means a person who is a contributing sponsor as defined in section 4001(a)(13) of ERISA.
Controlled group means, in connection with any person, a group consisting of such person and all other persons under common control with such person, determined under § 4001.3 of this part. For purposes of determining the persons liable for contributions under section 412(b)(2) of the Code or section 302(b)(2) of ERISA, or for premiums under section 4007(e)(2) of ERISA, a controlled group also includes any group treated as a single employer under section 414 (m) or (o) of the Code. Any reference to a plan's controlled group means all contributing sponsors of the plan and all members of each contributing sponsor's controlled group.
Corporation means the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, except where the context demonstrates that a different meaning is intended.
Defined benefit plan means a plan described in section 3(35) of ERISA.
Disclosure Officer means the official designated as Disclosure Officer in the Office of the General Counsel, PBGC.
Distress termination means the voluntary termination of a single-employer plan in accordance with section 4041(c) of ERISA and part 4041, subpart C, of this chapter.
Distribution date means:
(1) For benefits provided through the purchase of irrevocable commitments, the date on which the obligation to provide the benefits passes from the plan to the insurer; and
(2) For benefits provided other than through the purchase of irrevocable commitments, the date on which the benefits are delivered to the participant or beneficiary (or to another plan or benefit arrangement or other recipient authorized by the participant or beneficiary in accordance with applicable law and regulations) personally or by deposit with a mail or courier service (as evidenced by a postmark or written receipt); or
Earliest retirement age at valuation date means the later of: a participant's age on his or her birthday nearest to the valuation date, or the participant's attained age as of his or her Earliest PBGC Retirement Date (as determined under § 4022.10 of this chapter).
EIN means the nine-digit employer identification number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service to a person.
Employer means all trades or businesses (whether or not incorporated) that are under common control, within the meaning of § 4001.3 of this chapter.
ERISA means the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.
Expected retirement age (XRA) means the age, determined in accordance with §§ 4044.55 through 4044.57 of this chapter, at which a participant is expected to begin receiving benefits when the participant has not elected, before the allocation date, an annuity starting date. This is the age to which a participant's benefit payment is assumed to be deferred for valuation purposes. An XRA is equal to or greater than the participant's earliest retirement age at valuation date but less than his or her normal retirement age.
Fair market value means the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.
FOIA means the Freedom of Information Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552).
Funding standard account means an account established and maintained under section 304(b) of ERISA or section 431(b) of the Code.
Guaranteed benefit means a benefit under a single-employer plan that is guaranteed by the PBGC under section 4022(a) of ERISA and part 4022 of this chapter, or a benefit under a multiemployer plan that is guaranteed by the PBGC under section 4022A of ERISA.
Insurer means a company authorized to do business as an insurance carrier under the laws of a State or the District of Columbia.
Irrevocable commitment means an obligation by an insurer to pay benefits to a named participant or surviving beneficiary, if the obligation cannot be cancelled under the terms of the insurance contract (except for fraud or mistake) without the consent of the participant or beneficiary and is legally enforceable by the participant or beneficiary.
IRS means the Internal Revenue Service.
Majority owner means, with respect to a contributing sponsor of a single-employer plan, an individual who owns, directly or indirectly (taking into account the constructive ownership rules of section 414(b) and (c) of the Code) -
(1) The entire interest in an unincorporated trade or business;
(2) 50 percent or more of the capital interest or the profits interest in a partnership; or
(3) 50 percent or more of either the voting stock of a corporation or the value of all of the stock of a corporation.
Mandatory employee contributions means amounts contributed to the plan by a participant that are required as a condition of employment, as a condition of participation in such plan, or as a condition of obtaining benefits under the plan attributable to employer contributions.
Mass withdrawal means:
(1) The withdrawal of every employer from the plan,
(2) The cessation of the obligation of all employers to contribute under the plan, or
(3) The withdrawal of substantially all employers pursuant to an agreement or arrangement to withdraw.
Multiemployer Act means the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980.
Multiemployer plan means a plan that is described in section 4001(a)(3) of ERISA and that is covered by title IV of ERISA. Multiemployer plan also means a plan that elects to be a multiemployer plan under ERISA section 3(37)(G) and Code section 414(f)(6), pursuant to procedures prescribed by PBGC.
Multiple employer plan means a single-employer plan maintained by two or more contributing sponsors that are not members of the same controlled group, under which all plan assets are available to pay benefits to all plan participants and beneficiaries.
Non-PPA 2006 bankruptcy termination means a plan termination that is not a PPA 2006 bankruptcy termination.
Nonbasic-type benefit means any benefit provided by a plan other than a basic-type benefit.
Nonforfeitable benefit means a benefit described in section 4001(a)(8) of ERISA. Benefits that become nonforfeitable solely as a result of the termination of a plan are considered forfeitable.
Normal retirement age means the age specified in the plan as the normal retirement age. This age shall not exceed the later of age 65 or the age attained after 5 years of participation in the plan. If no normal retirement age is specified in the plan, it is age 65.
Notice of intent to terminate means the notice of a proposed termination of a single-employer plan, as required by section 4041(a)(2) of ERISA and § 4041.21 (in a standard termination) or § 4041.41 (in a distress termination) of this chapter.
PBGC means the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Person means a person defined in section 3(9) of ERISA.
Plan means a defined benefit plan within the meaning of section 3(35) of ERISA that is covered by title IV of ERISA.
Plan administrator means an administrator, as defined in section 3(16)(A) of ERISA.
Plan sponsor means, with respect to a multiemployer plan, the person described in section 4001(a)(10) of ERISA.
Plan year means the calendar, policy, or fiscal year on which the records of the plan are kept.
PN means the three-digit plan number assigned to a plan.
PPA 2006 bankruptcy termination means a plan termination to which section 404 of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 applies. Section 404 of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 applies to any plan termination in which the termination date occurs while bankruptcy proceedings are pending with respect to the contributing sponsor of the plan, if the bankruptcy proceedings were initiated on or after September 16, 2006. Bankruptcy proceedings are pending, for this purpose, if a contributing sponsor has filed or has had filed against it a petition seeking liquidation or reorganization in a case under title 11, United States Code, or under any similar Federal law or law of a State or political subdivision, and the case has not been dismissed as of the termination date of the plan.
Proposed termination date means the date specified as such by the plan administrator of a single-employer plan in a notice of intent to terminate or, if later, in the standard or distress termination notice, in accordance with section 4041 of ERISA and part 4041 of this chapter.
Rollover amounts means the dollar amount of all or any part of a distribution that is rolled over from a defined contribution plan into a defined benefit plan in accordance with section 401(a)(31) or 402(c) or similar provisions under the Internal Revenue Code. Rollover amounts include salary deferral contributions made by the participant, any additional employer contributions provided for under the defined contribution plan, and earnings on both.
Single-employer plan means any defined benefit plan (as defined in section 3(35) of ERISA) that is not a multiemployer plan (as defined in section 4001(a)(3) of ERISA) and that is covered by title IV of ERISA.
Standard termination means the voluntary termination, in accordance with section 4041(b) of ERISA and part 4041, subpart B, of this chapter, of a single-employer plan that is able to provide for all of its benefit liabilities when plan assets are distributed.
Sufficient for benefit liabilities means that there is no amount of unfunded benefit liabilities, as defined in section 4001(a)(18) of ERISA.
Sufficient for guaranteed benefits means that there is no amount of unfunded guaranteed benefits, as defined in section 4001(a)(17) of ERISA. In a PPA 2006 bankruptcy termination, the determination whether a plan is sufficient for guaranteed benefits is made taking into account the limitations in sections 4022(g) and 4044(e) of ERISA (and corresponding provisions of these regulations). The determinations of which benefits are guaranteed and which benefits are in priority category 3 under section 4044(a)(3) of ERISA are made by reference to the bankruptcy filing date, but the present values of those benefits are determined as of the proposed termination date and the date of distribution.
Termination date means the date established pursuant to section 4048(a) of ERISA.
Title IV benefit means the guaranteed benefit plus any additional benefits to which plan assets are allocated pursuant to section 4044 of ERISA and part 4044 of this chapter.
Unreduced retirement age (URA) means the earlier of the normal retirement age specified in the plan or the age at which an unreduced benefit is first payable.
U.S. entity means an entity subject to the personal jurisdiction of the U.S. district courts.
Ultimate parent means the parent at the highest level in the chain of corporations and/or other organizations constituting a parent-subsidiary controlled group.
Voluntary employee contributions means amounts contributed by an employee to a plan, pursuant to the provisions of the plan, that are not mandatory employee contributions.
For purposes of title IV of ERISA:
(a)(1) The PBGC will determine that trades and businesses (whether or not incorporated) are under common control if they are “two or more trades or businesses under common control”, as defined in regulations prescribed under section 414(c) of the Code.
(2) The PBGC will determine that all employees of trades or businesses (whether or not incorporated) which are under common control shall be treated as employed by a single employer, and all such trades and businesses shall be treated as a single employer.
(3) An individual who owns the entire interest in an unincorporated trade or business is treated as his own employer, and a partnership is treated as the employer of each partner who is an employee within the meaning of section 401(c)(1) of the Code.
(b) In the case of a single-employer plan:
(1) In connection with any person, a controlled group consists of that person and all other persons under common control with such person.
(2) Persons are under common control if they are members of a “controlled group of corporations”, as defined in regulations prescribed under section 414(b) of the Code, or if they are “two or more trades or businesses under common control”, as defined in regulations prescribed under section 414(c) of the Code.