U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 26, 2022

§ 4219.1 - Purpose and scope.

(a) Subpart A. Subpart A of this part describes the purpose and scope of the provisions in this part and defined terms used in this part. Section 4219(c) of ERISA requires a withdrawn employer to make annual withdrawal liability payments at a set rate over the number of years necessary to amortize its withdrawal liability, generally limited to a period of 20 years. This subpart provides rules for disregarding certain contribution increases in determining the highest contribution rate under section 4219(c) of ERISA.

(b) Subpart B - (1) Purpose. When a multiemployer plan terminates by the withdrawal of every employer from the plan, or when substantially all employers withdraw from a multiemployer plan pursuant to an agreement or arrangement to withdraw from the plan, section 4219(c)(1)(D)(i) of ERISA requires that the liability of such withdrawing employers be determined (or redetermined) without regard to the 20-year limitation on annual payments established in section 4219(c)(1)(B) of ERISA. In addition, section 4219(c)(1)(D)(ii) requires that, upon the occurrence of a withdrawal described above, the total unfunded vested benefits of the plan be fully allocated among such withdrawing employers in a manner that is not inconsistent with PBGC regulations. Section 4209(c) of ERISA provides that the de minimis reduction established in sections 4209 (a) and (b) of ERISA does not apply to an employer that withdraws in a plan year in which substantially all employers withdraw from the plan, or to an employer that withdraws pursuant to an agreement to withdraw during a period of one or more plan years during which substantially all employers withdraw pursuant to an agreement or arrangement to withdraw. The purpose of subpart B of this part is to prescribe rules, pursuant to sections 4219(c)(1)(D) and 4209(c) of ERISA, for redetermining an employer's withdrawal liability and fully allocating the unfunded vested benefits of a multiemployer plan in either of two mass-withdrawal situations: the termination of a plan by the withdrawal of every employer and the withdrawal of substantially all employers pursuant to an agreement or arrangement to withdraw. Subpart B also prescribes rules for redetermining the liability of an employer without regard to section 4209 (a) or (b) when the employer withdraws in a plan year in which substantially all employers withdraw, regardless of the occurrence of a mass withdrawal. (See part 4281 regarding the valuation of unfunded vested benefits to be fully allocated under subpart B, and parts 4041A and 4281 regarding the powers and duties of the plan sponsor of a plan terminated by mass withdrawal.)

(2) Scope. Subpart B applies to multiemployer plans covered by title IV of ERISA, with respect to which there is a termination by the withdrawal of every employer (including a plan created by a partition pursuant to section 4233 of ERISA) or a withdrawal of substantially all employers in the plan pursuant to an agreement or arrangement to withdraw from the plan, and to employers that withdraw from such multiemployer plans. The obligations of a plan sponsor of a mass-withdrawal-terminated plan under subpart B cease to apply when the plan assets are distributed in full satisfaction of all nonforfeitable benefits under the plan. Subpart B also applies, to the extent appropriate, to multiemployer plans with respect to which there is a withdrawal of substantially all employers in a single plan year and to employers that withdraw from such plans in that plan year.

(c) Subpart C. Subpart C establishes the interest rate to be charged on overdue, defaulted and overpaid withdrawal liability under section 4219(c)(6) of ERISA, and authorizes multiemployer plans to adopt alternative rules concerning assessment of interest and related matters. Subpart C applies to multiemployer plans covered under title IV of ERISA, and to employers that have withdrawn from such plans on or after September 26, 1980, except employers with respect to which section 4221(f) or section 4221(g) of ERISA applies (provided that such employers are in compliance with the provisions of those sections, as applicable).

[61 FR 34102, July 1, 1996, as amended at 73 FR 79636, Dec. 30, 2008; 86 FR 1277, Jan. 8, 2021]

§ 4219.2 - Definitions.

(a) The following terms are defined in § 4001.2 of this chapter: employer, ERISA, IRS, mass withdrawal, multiemployer plan, nonforfeitable benefit, PBGC, plan, and plan year.

(b) For purposes of this part:

Initial withdrawal liability means the amount of withdrawal liability determined in accordance with sections 4201 through 4225 of title IV without regard to the occurrence of a mass withdrawal.

Mass withdrawal liability means the sum of an employer's liability for de minimis amounts, liability for 20-year-limitation amounts, and reallocation liability.

Mass withdrawal valuation date means -

(1) In the case of a termination by mass withdrawal, the last day of the plan year in which the plan terminates; or

(2) in the case of a withdrawal of substantially all employers pursuant to an agreement or arrangement to withdraw, the last day of the plan year as of which substantially all employers have withdrawn.

Reallocation liability means the amount of unfunded vested benefits allocated to an employer in the event of a mass withdrawal.

Reallocation record date means a date selected by the plan sponsor, which is not earlier than the date of the plan's actuarial report for the year of the mass withdrawal and not later than one year after the mass withdrawal valuation date.

Redetermination liability means the sum of an employer's liability for de minimis amounts and the employer's liability for 20-year-limitation amounts.

Unfunded vested benefits means the amount by which the present value of a plan's nonforfeitable benefits exceeds the value of plan assets (including claims of the plan for unpaid initial withdrawal liability and redetermination liability), determined in accordance with section 4281 of ERISA and part 4281, subpart B.

(c) For purposes of subpart B -

Withdrawal means a complete withdrawal as defined in section 4203 of ERISA.

[61 FR 34102, July 1, 1996, as amended at 73 FR 79636, Dec. 30, 2008; 86 FR 1277, Jan. 8, 2021]

§ 4219.3 - Disregarding certain contributions.

(a) General rule. For purposes of determining the highest contribution rate under section 4219(c) of ERISA, a plan must disregard:

(1) Surcharge. Any surcharge under section 305(e)(7) of ERISA and section 432(e)(7) of the Code the obligation for which accrues on or after December 31, 2014.

(2) Contribution increase. Any increase in the contribution rate or other increase in contribution requirements that goes into effect during a plan year beginning after December 31, 2014, so that a plan may meet the requirements of a funding improvement plan under section 305(c) of ERISA and section 432(c) of the Code or a rehabilitation plan under section 305(e) of ERISA and section 432(e) of the Code, except to the extent that one of the following exceptions applies pursuant to section 305(g)(3) of ERISA and section 432(g)(3) of the Code:

(i) The increases in contribution requirements are due to increased levels of work, employment, or periods for which compensation is provided.

(ii) The additional contributions are used to provide an increase in benefits, including an increase in future benefit accruals, permitted by section 305(d)(1)(B) or (f)(1)(B) of ERISA and section 432(d)(1)(B) or (f)(1)(B) of the Code.

(b) Simplified method for a plan that is no longer in endangered or critical status. A plan sponsor may amend a plan without PBGC approval to use the simplified method in this paragraph (b) for purposes of determining the highest contribution rate for a plan that is no longer in endangered or critical status. The highest contribution rate is the greater of -

(1) The employer's contribution rate as of the date that is the later of the last day of the first plan year that ends on or after December 31, 2014 and the last day of the plan year the employer first contributes to the plan (the “employer freeze date”) plus any contribution increases after the employer freeze date, and before the employer's withdrawal date that are determined in accordance with the rules under § 4219.3(a)(2)(ii); or

(2) The highest contribution rate for any plan year after the plan year that includes the expiration date of the first collective bargaining agreement of the withdrawing employer requiring plan contributions that expires after the plan is no longer in endangered or critical status, or, if earlier, the date as of which the withdrawing employer renegotiated a contribution rate effective after the plan year the plan is no longer in endangered or critical status.

(c) Example: The simplified method in paragraph (b) of this section is illustrated by the following example.

(1) Facts. A contributing employer withdraws in plan year 2028, after the 2027 expiration date of the first collective bargaining agreement requiring plan contributions that expires after the plan is no longer in critical status in plan year 2026. The plan sponsor determines that under the expiring collective bargaining agreement the employer's $4.50 hourly contribution rate in plan year 2014 was required to increase each year to $7.00 per hour in plan year 2025, to enable the plan to meet its rehabilitation plan. The plan sponsor determines that, over this period, a cumulative increase of $0.85 per hour was used to fund benefit increases, as provided by plan amendment. Under a new collective bargaining agreement effective in 2027, the employer's hourly contribution rate is reduced to $5.00.

(2) Highest contribution rate. The plan sponsor determines that the employer's highest contribution rate for purposes of section 4219(c) of ERISA is $5.35, because it is the greater of the highest rate in effect after the plan is no longer in critical status ($5.00) and the employer's contribution rate in plan year 2014 ($4.50) plus any increases between 2015 and 2025 ($0.85) that were required to be taken into account under section 305(g)(3) of ERISA.

(d) Effective and applicability dates - (1) Effective date. This section is effective on February 8, 2021.

(2) Applicability date. This section applies to employer withdrawals from multiemployer plans that occur in plan years beginning on or after February 8, 2021.

[86 FR 1277, Jan. 8, 2021]