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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records

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AGENCY:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION:

Notice of new routine uses of records and technical and clarifying changes for PBGC-6, Plan Participant and Beneficiary Data—PBGC

SUMMARY:

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is proposing two new routine uses of records for a system of records maintained pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, entitled PBGC-6, Plan Participant and Beneficiary Data—PBGC. The first new routine use permits disclosure of certain benefit information to a participant's spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of the participant solely to obtain a qualified domestic relations order pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 1056(d) and 26 U.S.C. 414(p). The second new routine use permits disclosure of information from a participant's initial determination under 29 CFR 4003.1(b) to the participant's spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent who is an alternate payee under a qualified domestic relations order issued pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 1056(d) and 26 U.S.C. 414(p) to explain how the PBGC determined the benefit due the alternate payee so that the alternate payee can pursue an administrative appeal under 29 CFR 4003.51. The PBGC is also making technical and clarifying changes to PBGC-6.

DATES:

Comments on the new routine uses must be received by October 25, 2000. The new routine uses will become effective November 9, 2000, without further notice, unless comments result in a contrary determination and a notice is published to that effect.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be mailed to the Office of the General Counsel, Suite 340, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026, or delivered to that address between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on business days. Comments also may be sent by Internet e-mail to reg.comments@pbgc.gov. Comments will be available for public inspection at the PBGC's Communications and Public Affairs Department, Suite 240 at the same address, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on business days.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

D. Bruce Campbell, Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, Suite 340, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026; 202-326-4020 (extension 3672). (For TTY/TDD users, call the federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4020 (extension 3672).)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Generally, a participant's benefit from a pension plan may not be assigned or alienated. An exception permits certain payments made pursuant to a state domestic relations order that creates or recognizes the right of a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant to receive all or a portion of the benefit payable with respect to the participant to satisfy child support, alimony, or other marital property obligations. This exception only applies if the domestic relations order is qualified, i.e., the plan or the PBGC determines that the order meets certain legal requirements. To be qualified, the domestic relations order must, among other things, specify the name of the plan to which it applies, the amount or percentage of the participant's benefit to be paid to the alternate payee, the form of the payment to the alternate payee, and the date the payment to the alternate payee begins and ends. See 29 U.S.C. 1056(d) and 26 U.S.C. 414(p). The PBGC is establishing two new routine uses that permit disclosure of information about a participant to an individual who is or may become entitled to benefits from the PBGC as an alternate payee.

New routine use 12 permits the PBGC to disclose the information needed to obtain a qualified domestic relation order under 29 U.S.C. 1056(d) and 26 U.S.C. 414(p) to a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant. The PBGC will disclose the information only upon the receipt of a notarized, written request by a prospective alternate payee that describes the requester's relationship to the participant and states that the information will be used solely to obtain a qualified domestic relations order under state domestic relations law.

New routine use 13 permits the PBGC to disclose information from a participant's initial determination under 29 CFR 4003.1(b) to the participant's spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent who is an alternate payee under a qualified domestic relations order issued pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 1056(d) and 26 U.S.C. 414(p). The information explains how the PBGC determined the benefit due the alternate payee so that the alternate payee can pursue an administrative appeal of the benefit determination under 29 CFR 4003.51. The PBGC will not disclose the participant's address, telephone number, social security number, and any sensitive medical information under the new routine use.

The PBGC will notify the participant of the information that is disclosed under the new routine uses.

The PBGC is making certain other technical and clarifying changes to PBGC-6 by updating the citations to its regulations and revising the descriptions of the categories of records in the system and of how records are stored and safeguarded to make them more specific. The PBGC is also revising the description of the purposes for which information is used and how information is retrieved to reflect that the PBGC uses names, addresses and telephone numbers to survey customer satisfaction with the PBGC's benefit payment services and to track (for follow up) those who did not respond to surveys. The PBGC mails surveys to a sample of individuals whose records are maintained in PBGC-6 seeking information about the quality of services provided by the PBGC. Survey responses are aggregated for statistical purposes after they are received by the PBGC and are not retrievable by a participant or beneficiary's name or other assigned identifier.

For the convenience of the public, PBGC-6, as amended, is published in full below with new routine uses 12 and 13 and the technical and clarifying changes italicized.

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Issued in Washington, DC, this 19th day of September, 2000.

David M. Strauss,

Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

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PBGC-6

System name:

Plan Participant and Beneficiary Data—PBGC.

Security classification:

Not applicable.

System location:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026 and/or field benefit administrator, plan administrator, and paying agent worksites.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:

Participants and beneficiaries in terminating and terminated pension plans covered by Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”).

Categories of records in the system:

Names, addresses, telephone numbers, sex, social security numbers and other Social Security Administration information, dates of birth, dates of hire, salary, marital status, domestic relations orders, time of plan participation, eligibility status, pay status, benefit data, health-related information, insurance information where plan benefits are provided by private insurers, initial and final PBGC determinations (29 CFR 4003.21 and 4003.59). The records listed herein are included only as pertinent or applicable to the individual plan participant or beneficiary.

Authority for maintenance of the system:

29 U.S.C. 1055, 1056(d)(3), 1302, 1321, 1322, 1322a, 1341, 1342 and 1350.

Purpose(s):

This system of records is maintained for use in determining whether participants and beneficiaries are eligible for benefits under plans covered by Title IV of ERISA, the amounts of benefits to be paid, making benefit payments, and collecting benefit overpayments. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers are used to survey customers to measure their satisfaction with the PBGC 's benefit payment services and to track (for follow up) those who do not respond to surveys.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

1. A record from this system of records may be disclosed to third parties, such as banks, insurance companies, or trustees, to make benefit payments to plan participants and beneficiaries.

2. A record from this system of records may be disclosed, in furtherance of proceedings under Title IV of ERISA, to a contributing sponsor (or other employer who maintained the plan), including any predecessor or successor, and any member of the same controlled group.

3. A record from this system of records may be disclosed, upon request for a purpose authorized under Title IV of ERISA, to an official of a labor organization recognized as the collective bargaining representative of the individual about whom a request is made.

4. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of participants and beneficiaries and information pertaining to debts owed by such participants and beneficiaries to the PBGC may be disclosed to a debt collection agency or firm to collect a claim. Disclosure shall be made only under a contract that binds any such contractor or employee of such contractor to the criminal penalties of the Privacy Act. The information so disclosed shall be used exclusively pursuant to the terms and conditions of such contract and shall be used solely for the purposes prescribed therein. The contract shall provide that the information so disclosed shall be returned at the conclusion of the debt collection effort.

5. The name and social security number of a participant employed or formerly employed as a pilot by a commercial airline may be disclosed to the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) to obtain information relevant to the participant's eligibility or continued eligibility for disability benefits.

6. Names and social security numbers of plan participants and beneficiaries may be disclosed to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) to obtain current addresses from tax return information and to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) to obtain current addresses. Such information will be disclosed only if the PBGC has no address for an individual or if mail sent to the individual at the last known address is returned as undeliverable.

7. Names and last known addresses may be disclosed to an official of a labor organization recognized as the collective bargaining representative of participants for posting in union halls or for other means of publication to obtain current addresses of participants and beneficiaries. Such information will be disclosed only if the PBGC has no address for an individual or if mail sent to the individual at the last known address is returned as undeliverable.

8. Names, social security numbers, last known addresses, and dates of birth and death may be disclosed to private firms and agencies that provide locator services, including credit reporting agencies and debt collection firms or agencies, to locate participants and beneficiaries. Such information will be disclosed only if the PBGC has no address for an individual or if mail sent to the individual at the last known address is returned as undeliverable. Disclosure shall be made only under a contract that binds the firm or agency providing the service and its employees to the criminal penalties of the Privacy Act. The information so disclosed shall be used exclusively pursuant to the terms and conditions of such contract and shall be used solely for the purposes prescribed therein. The contract shall provide that the information so disclosed shall be returned at the conclusion of the locating effort.

9. Names and last known addresses may be disclosed to licensees of the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) to obtain current addresses under the USPS's National Change of Address Program. Such information will be disclosed only if the PBGC has no address for an individual or if mail sent to the individual at the last known address is returned as undeliverable. Disclosure shall be made only under a contract that binds the licensee of the Postal Service and its employees to the criminal penalties of the Privacy Act. The information so disclosed shall be used exclusively pursuant to the terms and conditions of such contract and shall be used solely for the purposes prescribed therein. The contract shall provide that the information so disclosed shall be returned at the conclusion of the locating effort.

10. Names and last known addresses may be disclosed to other participants in, and beneficiaries under, a pension plan to obtain the current addresses of individuals. Such information will be disclosed only if the PBGC has no address for an individual or if mail sent to the individual at the last known address is returned as undeliverable.

11. Names and last known addresses of participants and beneficiaries, and the names and addresses of participants' former employers, may be disclosed to the public to obtain current addresses of Start Printed Page 57631the individuals. Such information will be disclosed to the public only if the PBGC is unable to make benefit payments to the participants and beneficiaries because the address it has does not appear to be current or correct.

12. The name of a participant's pension plan, the actual or estimated amount of a participant's benefit under Title IV of ERISA, the form(s) in which the benefit is payable, and whether the participant is currently receiving benefit payments under the plan or (if not) the earliest date(s) such payments could commence may be disclosed to the participant's spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent solely to obtain a qualified domestic relations order under 29 U.S.C. 1056(d) and 26 U.S.C. 414(p). The PBGC will disclose the information only upon the receipt of a notarized, written request by a prospective alternate payee that describes the requester's relationship to the participant and states that the information will be used solely to obtain a qualified domestic relations order under state domestic relations law. The PBGC will notify the participant of any information disclosed to a prospective alternate payee under this routine use. Any person who knowingly and willfully requests or obtains any record concerning an individual under false pretenses is subject to a criminal penalty under 5 U.S.C. 552a(i)(3).

13. Information from a participant's initial determination under 29 CFR 4003.1(b) (excluding the participant's address, telephone number, social security number, and any sensitive medical information) may be disclosed to a participant's spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent who is an alternate payee under a qualified domestic relations order issued pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 1056(d) and 26 U.S.C. 414(p) to explain how the PBGC determined the benefit due the alternate payee so that the alternate payee can pursue an administrative appeal of the benefit determination under 29 CFR 4003.51. The PBGC will notify the participant of the information disclosed to an alternate payee under this routine use.

General Routine Uses G1 and G4 through G7 (see Prefatory Statement of General Routine Uses) apply to this system of records.

Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies:

Information may be disclosed to a consumer reporting agency in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(f) (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12)).

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:

Storage:

Records are maintained in paper and electronic form.

Retrievability:

Records are indexed by plan and participant and/or beneficiary name. Customer satisfaction survey responses are aggregated for statistical purposes after they have been received by the PBGC and are not retrievable by a participant or beneficiary's name or other assigned identifier.

Safeguards:

Paper records are kept in file folders in areas of restricted access that are locked after office hours. Electronic records are stored on computer networks and protected by assigning user identification numbers to individuals needing access to the records and by passwords set by authorized users that must be changed periodically.

Retention and disposal:

Records for plan participants are transferred to the Washington National Federal Records Center 6 months after either the final payment to a participant and/or beneficiary or the PBGC's final determination that a participant or beneficiary is not entitled to any benefits and are destroyed 7 years after such payment or determination.

System manager(s) and address:

Director, Insurance Operations Department, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026.

Notification procedure:

Procedures are detailed in the PBGC's regulations: 29 CFR part 4902.

Record access procedures:

Same as notification procedure.

Contesting records procedure:

Same as notification procedure.

Record source categories:

Plan administrators, participants and beneficiaries, the FAA, the SSA, labor organization officials, firms or agencies providing locator services, and USPS licensees.

Exemptions claimed for the system:

None.

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[FR Doc. 00-24527 Filed 9-22-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7708-01-P