As we previously discussed in our article, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) provides that eligible multiemployer pension plans (“MEPPs”) can receive special financial assistance (“SFA”) to cover plan benefits through the 2051 plan year. As directed under ARPA, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) issued its interim final rule (the “IFR”) on July 9, 2021 (as is discussed in our previous blog post), providing methodology for calculating the amount of SFA available to eligible MEPPs and detailing how such SFA is treated for purposes of calculating withdrawal liability. In its introductory comments to the IFR, the PBGC indicated that it would supplement the IFR with informal guidance detailing the SFA application and review process, limitations and reporting requirements for MEPPs applying and receiving SFA, the PBGC’s actuarial assumptions in calculating SFA awards, and how the PBGC would interact with other administrative agencies (specifically, the Departments of Treasury and Labor) in implementing its SFA program.
The PBGC presented this informal guidance via a webinar on July 22, 2021, and, on August 12, 2021, publicly released the two supplements it had previously presented. The first supplement provides detailed background of the PBGC’s SFA program. The second supplement recaps the PBGC’s first webinar on the SFA program and includes a detailed walkthrough of the PBGC’s e-filing portal for SFA applications. Together, the supplements provide detailed information for MEPP trustees and service providers engaging in the SFA application process.