April 20, 2016
There has been some confusion about how and where to file the Annual Funding Notice (AFN) for the 2015 plan year with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
Multiemployer plans may continue to file the 2015 AFN and other notices — “zone” notices, PBGC notices for plans “avoiding yellow” or “not electing early red” as added by the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014, and notices of amortization extension applications under Section 431 of the Internal Revenue Code (together, Other Notices) — by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
ATTN: Multiemployer Program
1200K Street NW
Washington, DC 20005-4026
Alternatively, multiemployer plans may, but are not required to, file the AFNs and Other Notices with PBGC through the new e-filing portal, launched by the PBGC in December of last year.
Multiemployer plans must use the new e-filing portal only for notices to the PBGC related to plan termination, insolvency, insolvency benefit level and financial assistance.
The confusion relates to the new e-filing portal, which was created to accept certain multiemployer filings that are now required to be filed electronically (notices of plan termination, insolvency, insolvency benefit level and requests for financial assistance). Only those notices must be filed with the PBGC through the e-filing portal.
Please note that plans using the e-mail or mail addresses above for AFNs and Other Notices might receive a response from the PBGC suggesting use of the e-filing portal. Although the language is not entirely clear, the response to encourage use of the e-portal does not indicate any sort of problem with the original filing.
2015 Model Notice
On a separate note, plans that wish to take advantage of the content, style and format safe harbors provided by the use of a model notice, should be sure that they are using the updated model notice provided in the final AFN regulations, issued by the Department of Labor on February 2, 2015.
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