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Notice

Submission of Information Collections for OMB Review; Comment Request; Multiemployer Plan Regulations

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION:

Notice of request for extension of OMB approval.

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SUMMARY:

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is requesting that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) extend approval, under the Paperwork Reduction Act, of certain collections of information under its regulations on multiemployer plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This notice informs the public of PBGC's request and solicits public comment on the collections of information.

DATES:

Comments should be submitted by April 28, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

Comments should be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, via electronic mail at OIRA_DOCKET@omb.eop.gov or by fax to 202-395-6974. A copy of PBGC's request may be obtained without charge by writing to the Disclosure Division of the Office of the General Counsel, 1200 K St. NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026, or by visiting that office or calling 202-326-4040 during normal business hours. (TTY and TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4040.) The request is also available at http://www.reginfo.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Donald F. McCabe, Attorney, Regulatory Affairs Group, Office of the General Counsel, or Catherine B. Klion, Assistant General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026, 202-326-4024. (For TTY and TDD, call 1-800-877-8339 and request connection to 202-326-4024.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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. OMB has approved and issued control numbers for the collections of information, described below, in PBGC's regulations relating to multiemployer plans. OMB approval expires March 31, 2014, or May 31, 2014, as specified below.[1]

The collections of information for which PBGC is requesting extension of OMB approval are as follows:

1. Mergers and Transfers Between Multiemployer Plans (29 CFR Part 4231) (OMB Control Number 1212-0022) (expires March 31, 2014)

Section 4231(a) and (b) of ERISA requires plans that are involved in a merger or transfer to give PBGC 120 days' notice of the transaction and provides that if PBGC determines that specified requirements are satisfied, the transaction will be deemed not to be in violation of ERISA section 406(a) or (b)(2) (dealing with prohibited transactions).

This regulation sets forth the procedures for giving notice of a merger or transfer under section 4231 and for requesting a determination that a transaction complies with section 4231.

PBGC uses information submitted by plan sponsors under the regulation to determine whether mergers and transfers conform to the requirements of ERISA section 4231 and the regulation.

PBGC estimates that there are 21 transactions each year for which plan sponsors submit notices and approval requests under this regulation. The estimated annual burden of the collection of information is 5.25 hours and $6,903.75.

2. Duties of Plan Sponsor Following Mass Withdrawal (29 CFR Part 4281) (OMB Control Number 1212-0032) (expires May 31, 2014)

Section 4281 of ERISA provides rules for plans that have terminated by mass withdrawal. Under section 4281, if nonforfeitable benefits exceed plan assets, the plan sponsor must amend the plan to reduce benefits. If the plan nevertheless becomes insolvent, the plan sponsor must suspend certain benefits that cannot be paid. If available resources are inadequate to pay guaranteed benefits, the plan sponsor must request financial assistance from PBGC.

The regulation requires a plan sponsor to give notices of benefit reduction, notices of insolvency and annual updates, and notices of insolvency benefit level to PBGC and to participants and beneficiaries and, if necessary, to apply to PBGC for financial assistance.

PBGC uses the information it receives to make determinations required by ERISA, to identify and estimate the cash needed for financial assistance to terminated plans, and to verify the appropriateness of financial assistance payments. Plan participants and beneficiaries use the information to make personal financial decisions.

PBGC estimates that plan sponsors of terminated plans each year give benefit reduction notices for three plans and give notices of insolvency benefit level and annual updates, and submit requests for financial assistance, for 54 plans. Of those 54 plans, PBGC estimates that plan sponsors each year will submit 255 requests (ranging from monthly to annual) for financial assistance. PBGC estimates that plan sponsors each year give notices of insolvency for seven plans. The estimated annual burden of the collection of information is one hour and $694,089.

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Issued in Washington, DC, this 21st day of March, 2014.

Judith R. Starr,

General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

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Footnotes

1.  These two information collections would be affected by PBGC's recent proposed rule on Multiemployer Plans; Valuation and Notice Requirements, 79 FR 4642 (Jan. 29, 2104). OMB has concluded review of the proposed rule changes to the information collections, leaving the terms of its current approval in effect.

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[FR Doc. 2014-06727 Filed 3-26-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7709-02-P