PBGC issues proposed regs that require electronic filing of certain multiemployer plan notices

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued proposed regulations that would require the electronic filing of certain multiemployer plan notices with the PBGC. Specifically, the proposed regulations would require the following notices to be filed electronically with the PBGC: notices of termination under part 4041A, notices of insolvency and of insolvency benefit level under parts 4245 (involving insolvent plans) and 4281 (following mass withdrawal), and applications for financial assistance under part 4281. The PBGC would grant case-by-case exemptions to the electronic filing requirement in appropriate circumstances for filers that demonstrate good cause for exemption. These changes would make the provision of information to the PBGC more efficient and effective.

The PBGC believes that requiring electronic filing for these notices would result in benefits for both the public and the government. Electronic filing would simplify the filing process for the public by building in all required and optional fields and including readily accessible guidance in the application. This is expected to reduce the need to contact the PBGC for assistance. Electronic filing would also result in greater efficiencies for the government. Currently, documents submitted by filers need to be manually uploaded to electronic depositories. With electronic filing, those documents would be automatically uploaded. Electronic filing would also save the government time by reducing the need to provide assistance to filers. It would improve the government’s recordkeeping, records retrieval, and records archiving process by eliminating the possibility of missing or lost paper files due to human error. In addition, the PBGC expects electronic filing will improve the government’s ability to protect potential personally identifiable information (PII), or otherwise sensitive information.

The PBGC states that this proposed rule does not involve any conforming amendments reflecting the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). The PBGC expects to address such changes in a future rulemaking.

The amendments to all these regulations would be applicable for filings made on or after January 1, 2016.

Source: PBGC proposed regulations, 80 FR 18172.

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