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Notice

Proposed Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Payment of Premiums

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION:

Notice of intention to request extension of OMB approval.

SUMMARY:

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) intends to request that the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) extend approval, under the Paperwork Reduction Act, of the collection of information under its regulation on Payment of Premiums (29 CFR Part 4007), including Form 1-ES, Form 1-EZ, Form 1, and Schedule A to Form 1, and related instructions (OMB control number 1212-0009). The collection of information also includes a certification (on Form 1-EZ and Schedule A) of compliance with requirements to provide certain notices to participants under the PBGC's regulation on Disclosure to Participants (29 CFR Part 4011). This notice informs the public of the PBGC's intent and solicits public comment on the collection of information.

DATES:

Comments should be submitted by October 15, 2001.

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. Written comments will be available for public inspection at the PBGC's Communications and Public Affairs Start Printed Page 42900Department, suite 240 at the same address, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on business days.

Copies of the collection of information may be obtained without charge by writing to the PBGC's Communications and Public Affairs Department at the address given above or calling 202-326-4040. (For TTY and TDD, call 800-877-8339 and request connection to 202-326-4040). The premium payment regulation can be accessed on the PBGC's home page at http://www.pbgc.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Harold J. Ashner, Assistant General Counsel, or Deborah C. Murphy, Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026, 202-326-4024. (For TTY and TDD, call 800-877-8339 and request connection to 202-326-4024).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Section 4007 of Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) requires the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) to collect premiums from pension plans covered under Title IV pension insurance programs. Pursuant to ERISA section 4007, the PBGC has issued its regulation on Payment of Premiums (29 CFR Part 4007). Section 4007.3 of the premium payment regulation requires plans, in connection with the payment of premiums, to file certain forms prescribed by the PBGC, and § 4007.10 requires plans to retain and make available to the PBGC records supporting or validating the computation of premiums paid.

The forms prescribed are PBGC Form 1-ES, Form 1-EZ, and Form 1 and (for single-employer plans only) Schedule A to Form 1. Form 1-ES is issued, with instructions, in the PBGC's Estimated Premium Payment Package. Form 1-EZ, Form 1, and Schedule A are issued, with instructions, in the PBGC's Annual Premium Payment Package.

The premium forms are needed to determine the amount and record the payment of PBGC premiums, and the submission of forms and retention and submission of records are needed to enable the PBGC to perform premium audits. The plan administrator of each pension plan covered by Title IV of ERISA is required to file one or more of the premium payment forms each year. The PBGC uses the information on the premium payment forms to identify the plans paying premiums and to verify whether plans are paying the correct amounts. That information and the retained records are used for audit purposes.

In addition, section 4011 of ERISA and the PBGC's regulation on Disclosure to Participants (29 CFR Part 4011) require plan administrators of certain underfunded single-employer pension plans to provide an annual notice to plan participants and beneficiaries of the plans' funding status and the limits on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's guarantee of plan benefits. The participant notice requirement only applies (subject to certain exemptions) to plans that must pay a variable rate premium. In order to monitor compliance with Part 4011, plan administrators must indicate on Form 1-EZ or Schedule A to Form 1 that the participant notice requirements have been complied with.

The collection of information under the regulation on Payment of Premiums, including Form 1-ES, Form 1-EZ, Form 1, and Schedule A to Form 1, and related instructions has been approved by OMB under control number 1212-0009. This collection of information also includes the certification of compliance with the participant notice requirements (but not the participant notices themselves). The PBGC is revising the forms and instructions to clarify them and make them easier to use. The PBGC intends to request that OMB extend its approval of this collection of information, as revised, for three years from the date of approval. (The participant notices constitute a different collection of information that has been separately approved by OMB.) An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

The PBGC estimates that it receives responses annually from about 37,700 plan administrators and that the total annual burden of the collection of information is about 2,541 hours and $9,657,780.

The PBGC is soliciting public comments to—

  • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.
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Issued in Washington, DC, this 9th day of August, 2001.

Stuart Sirkin,

Director, Corporate Policy and Research Department, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

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[FR Doc. 01-20493 Filed 8-14-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7708-01-P