U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 22, 2024

§ 4208.5 - Withdrawal liability payments during pendency of abatement determination.

(a) Bond/Escrow. An employer that has satisfied the requirements of § 4208.4(a)(1) without regard to “90 percent of” or § 4208.4(b) for one year with respect to all partial withdrawals it incurred in a plan year may, in lieu of making scheduled withdrawal liability payments in the second year for those withdrawals, provide a bond to, or establish an escrow account for, the plan that satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section or any plan rules adopted under paragraph (d) of this section, pending a determination by the plan sponsor of whether the employer satisfies the requirements of § 4208.4 (a)(1) or (b) for the second consecutive plan year. An employer that applies for abatement and neither provides a bond/escrow nor makes its withdrawal liability payments remains eligible for abatement.

(b) Amount of bond/escrow. The bond or escrow allowed by this section shall be in an amount equal to 50 percent of the withdrawal liability payments that would otherwise be due. The bond or escrow relating to each payment shall be furnished before the due date of that payment. A single bond or escrow may be provided for more than one payment due during the pendency of the plan sponsor's determination. The bond or escrow agreement shall provide that if the plan sponsor determines that the employer does not satisfy the requirements for abatement of its partial withdrawal liability under § 4208.4 (a)(1) or (b), the bond or escrow shall be paid to the plan upon notice from the plan sponsor to the bonding or escrow agent. A bond provided under this paragraph shall be issued by a corporate surety company that is an acceptable surety for purposes of section 412 of ERISA.

(c) Notice of bond/escrow. Concurrently with posting a bond or establishing an escrow account under this section, the employer shall notify the plan sponsor. The notice shall include a statement of the amount of the bond or escrow, the scheduled payment or payments with respect to which the bond or escrow is being furnished, and the name and address of the bonding or escrow agent.

(d) Plan amendments concerning bond/escrow. A plan may, by amendment, adopt rules decreasing the amount of the bond or escrow specified in paragraph (b) of this section. A plan amendment adopted under this paragraph may be applied only to the extent that it is consistent with the purposes of ERISA. An amendment satisfies this requirement only if it does not create an unreasonable risk of loss to the plan.

(e) Plan sponsor determination. Within 60 days after the end of the plan year in which the bond/escrow is furnished, the plan sponsor shall determine whether the employer satisfied the requirements of § 4208.4 (a)(1) or (b) for the second consecutive plan year. The plan sponsor shall notify the employer and the bonding or escrow agent in writing of its determination and of the consequences of its determination, as described in § 4208.3 (c) or (d) and (e), as appropriate.