Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Valuation of Benefits and Assets; Expected Retirement Age

Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 236 (Monday, December 9, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 236 (Monday, December 9, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67186-67187]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office []
[FR Doc No: 2019-26456]
29 CFR Part 4044
Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Valuation of
Benefits and Assets; Expected Retirement Age
AGENCY: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's
regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans by
substituting a new table for determining expected retirement ages for
participants in pension plans undergoing distress or involuntary
termination with valuation dates falling in 2020. This table is needed
to compute the value of early retirement benefits and, thus, the total
value of benefits under a plan.
DATES: This rule is effective January 1, 2020.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory Katz ([email protected]),
Attorney, Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of the General Counsel,
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW, Washington, DC
20005, 202-326-4400, ext. 3829. (TTY users may call the Federal relay
service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-
4400, ext. 3829.)
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
(PBGC) administers the pension plan termination insurance program under
title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
(ERISA). PBGC's regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer
Plans (29 CFR part 4044) sets forth (in subpart B) the methods for
valuing plan benefits of terminating single-employer plans covered
under title IV. Guaranteed benefits and benefit liabilities under a
plan that is undergoing a distress termination must be valued in
accordance with subpart B of part 4044. In addition, when PBGC
terminates an underfunded plan involuntarily pursuant to ERISA section
4042(a), it uses the subpart B valuation rules to determine the amount
of the plan's underfunding.
    Under Sec.  4044.51(b) of the asset allocation regulation, early
retirement benefits are valued based on the annuity starting date, if a
retirement date has been selected, or the expected retirement age, if
the annuity starting date is not known on the valuation date. Sections
4044.55 through 4044.57 set forth rules for determining the expected
retirement ages for plan participants entitled to early retirement
benefits. Appendix D of part 4044 contains tables to be used in
determining the expected early retirement ages.
    Table I in appendix D (Selection of Retirement Rate Category) is
used to determine whether a participant has a low, medium, or high
probability of retiring early. The determination is based on the year a
participant would reach ``unreduced retirement age'' (i.e., the earlier
of the normal retirement age or the age at which an unreduced benefit
is first payable) and the participant's monthly benefit at unreduced
retirement age. The table applies only to plans with valuation dates in
the current year and is updated annually by PBGC to reflect changes in
the cost of living, etc.
    Tables II-A, II-B, and II-C (Expected Retirement Ages for
Individuals in the Low, Medium, and High Categories respectively) are
used to determine the expected retirement age after the probability of
early retirement has been determined using Table I. These tables
establish, by probability category, the expected retirement age based
on both the earliest age a participant could retire under the plan and
the unreduced retirement age. This expected retirement age is used to
compute the value of the early retirement benefit and, thus, the total
value of benefits under the plan.
    This document amends appendix D to replace Table I-19 with Table I-
20 to provide an updated correlation, appropriate for calendar year
2020, between the amount of a participant's benefit and the probability
that the participant will elect early retirement. Table I-20 will be
used to value benefits in plans with valuation dates during calendar
year 2020.
    PBGC has determined that notice of, and public comment on, this
rule are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Plan
administrators need to be able to estimate accurately the value of plan
benefits as early as possible before initiating the termination
process. For that purpose, if a plan has a valuation date in 2020, the
plan administrator needs the updated table being promulgated in this
rule. Accordingly, PBGC finds that the public interest is best served
by issuing this table expeditiously, without an opportunity for notice
and comment, and that good cause exists for making the table set forth
in this amendment effective less than 30 days after publication to
allow as much time as possible to estimate the value of plan benefits
with the proper table for plans with valuation dates in early 2020.
    PBGC has determined that this action is not a ``significant
regulatory action'' under the criteria set forth in Executive Order
12866 and Executive Order 13771.
    Because no general notice of proposed rulemaking is required for
this regulation, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply
(5 U.S.C. 601(2)).
List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 4044
    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance.
    In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR part 4044 is amended as
1. The authority citation for part 4044 continues to read as follows:
    Authority:  29 U.S.C. 1301(a), 1302(b)(3), 1341, 1344, 1362.
2. Appendix D to part 4044 is amended by removing Table I-19 and adding
in its place Table I-20 to read as follows:
Appendix D to Part 4044--Tables Used To Determine Expected Retirement
[[Page 67187]]
                                Table I-20--Selection of Retirement Rate Category
                                        [For valuation dates in 2020 \1\]
                                                    Participant's retirement rate category is--
  If participant reaches URA in                        Medium \3\ if monthly benefit at URA       High \4\ if
             year--               Low \2\ if monthly                   is--                   monthly benefit at
                                   benefit at URA is ----------------------------------------   URA is greater
                                      less than--           From--               To--               than--
2021............................                 672                 672               2,839               2,839
2022............................                 688                 688               2,905               2,905
2023............................                 704                 704               2,971               2,971
2024............................                 720                 720               3,040               3,040
2025............................                 736                 736               3,110               3,110
2026............................                 753                 753               3,181               3,181
2027............................                 771                 771               3,254               3,254
2028............................                 788                 788               3,329               3,329
2029............................                 806                 806               3,406               3,406
2030 or later...................                 825                 825               3,484               3,484
\1\ Applicable tables for valuation dates before 2020 are available on PBGC's website (
\2\ Table II-A.
\3\ Table II-B.
\4\ Table II-C.
* * * * *
     Issued in Washington, DC, by:
Hilary Duke,
Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit
Guaranty Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2019-26456 Filed 12-6-19; 8:45 am]