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Rule

Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing Benefits

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AGENCY:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans to prescribe interest assumptions under the asset allocation regulation for plans with valuation dates in the third quarter of 2021. These interest assumptions are used for valuing benefits under terminating single-employer plans and for other purposes.

DATES:

Effective July 1, 2021.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Hilary Duke (duke.hilary@pbgc.gov), Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005, 202-229-3839. (TTY users may call the Federal relay service toll free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-229-3839.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

PBGC's regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4044) prescribes actuarial assumptions—including interest assumptions—for valuing benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The interest assumptions in the regulation are also published on PBGC's website (https://www.pbgc.gov).

PBGC uses the interest assumptions in appendix B to part 4044 (“Interest Rates Used to Value Benefits”) to determine the present value of annuities in an involuntary or distress termination of a single-employer plan under the asset allocation regulation. The assumptions are also used to determine the value of multiemployer plan benefits and certain assets when a plan terminates by mass withdrawal in accordance with PBGC's regulation on Duties of Plan Sponsor Following Mass Withdrawal (29 CFR part 4281).

The third quarter 2021 interest assumptions will be 2.13 percent for the first 25 years following the valuation date and 2.23 percent thereafter. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for the second quarter of 2021, these interest assumptions represent an increase of 5 Start Printed Page 31620years in the select period (the period during which the select rate (the initial rate) applies), an increase of 0.31 percent in the select rate, and an increase of 0.55 percent in the ultimate rate (the final rate).

Need for Immediate Guidance

PBGC has determined that notice of, and public comment on, this rule are impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest. PBGC routinely updates the interest assumptions in appendix B of the asset allocation regulation each quarter so that they are available to value benefits. Accordingly, PBGC finds that the public interest is best served by issuing this rule expeditiously, without an opportunity for notice and comment, and that good cause exists for making the assumptions set forth in this amendment effective less than 30 days after publication to allow the use of the proper assumptions to estimate the value of plan benefits for plans with valuation dates early in the third quarter of 2021.

PBGC has determined that this action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 12866.

Because no general notice of proposed rulemaking is required for this amendment, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply. See 5 U.S.C. 601(2).

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List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 4044

  • Employee benefit plans
  • Pension insurance
  • Pensions
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In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR part 4044 is amended as follows:

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PART 4044—ALLOCATION OF ASSETS IN SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS

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1. The authority citation for part 4044 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 29 U.S.C. 1301(a), 1302(b)(3), 1341, 1344, 1362.

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2. In appendix B to part 4044, an entry for “July-September 2021” is added at the end of the table to read as follows:

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Appendix B to Part 4044—Interest Rates Used to Value Benefits

* * * * *
For valuation dates occurring in the month—The values of i t are:
i tfor t =i tfor t =i tfor t =
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
July-September 20210.02131-250.0223>25N/AN/A
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Issued in Washington, DC.

Hilary Duke,

Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

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[FR Doc. 2021-12483 Filed 6-14-21; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7709-02-P