June 18, 2015

Government Issues MPRA Suspension and Partition Guidance

Yesterday, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued related guidance addressing the rules for benefit suspension and partition under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). The guidance, expected to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 19, 2015, includes:

  • Temporary regulations and IRS Revenue Procedure 2015-34, both effective June 19, 2015. These items provide the detailed information that Critical & Declining (C&D) status plans will need to include in an application for suspension, along with a model suspension application notice to participants.  
  • Proposed Treasury regulations on suspension, not yet effective. This guidance provides additional suspension-related information.
  • PBGC Interim Final regulations, effective June 19, 2015. This guidance provides the information that C&D plans will need in order to apply for partition, if necessary, along with model partition application notices for participants.

Comments on the regulations are due August 18, 2015. A public hearing is scheduled for September 10, 2015, and topic outlines from individuals wishing to speak at the hearing also are due on the comment deadline date, August 18.

Applications for suspension and/or partition may be submitted as early as Friday, June 19; however, Treasury expects that no applications will be approved before final regulations are issued, and notes that applications (and related participant notices) submitted before the proposed regulations are finalized might need to be revised or amended to reflect the final regulations.

In addition, Treasury announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has appointed Kenneth Feinberg as “Special Master” (on a pro bono basis) to oversee the Treasury Department suspension approval process and, working with Treasury Department personnel, to review applications.

Segal Consulting is continuing to review this guidance and will be providing additional information in the near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the guidance, please contact your Segal consultant or send us a note.

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Serena Simons

Serena Simons

SVP, National Retirement Compliance Practice Leader