PBGC Extends Deadlines

This past week, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) announced it had extended deadlines for upcoming premium payments and other filings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The PBGC’s announcement came after the IRS extended its deadlines to July 15, 2020.  Under the PBGC’s disaster relief policy, when the IRS announces disaster relief that includes a filing extension for Form 5500 returns, the PBGC will generally grant relief that extends its deadlines.

Specifically, the PBGC extended the due dates for filings or actions that fall on or after April 1, 2020 through July 14, 2020, to July 15, 2020 (and potentially longer, if extended).  The current extension applies to the due date for any PBGC filing, payment, or other action (including PBGC premium filings and premium payments) other than the following filings and actions on the PBGC’s “Exceptions List” (listed on the PBGC website) such as:

  • Notices of missed contributions over $1,000,000 (reported on Form 200);
  • Advance reportable event notices (reported on Form 10-Advance);
  • Post-event reportable event notices (reported on Form 10) for: (i) a failure to make required contributions under $1,000,000; (ii) an inability to pay benefits when due; (iii) a liquidation; (iv) a loan default; or (v) an insolvency or similar settlement; and
  • Actions related to distress terminations for which the PBGC has issued a distribution notice.

To take advantage of this relief, the plan sponsor or administrator must notify the PBGC of its eligibility for disaster relief on or before the last day of the IRS relief period (July 15, 2020).  For most filings, a filer should send an email to the PBGC notifying it of the filer’s eligibility for relief.  The email should reference: (1) IRS Notice 2020-23; (2) plan name and EIN/Plan Number; and (3) the name and address of the affected filer (e.g., plan service provider, plan sponsor or plan administrator).

For premium filings, notice to the PBGC must be made when submitting the Comprehensive Premium Filing. We would suggest a filer also send an email to the PBGC prior to the deadline to explain that it is entitled to the disaster relief, just to be safe.  Note, that even if a deadline is not extended automatically due to disaster relief (e.g., the Exceptions List items), filers may request relief on a case-by-case basis. Such case-by-case relief may be requested based on the process explained in the applicable instructions for the filing in question, or by separately contacting the PBGC.

The PBGC’s extension provides relief for plan sponsors, administrators, and service providers as they seek to stretch resources.  If you have any questions regarding this extension, or regarding any other COVID-19 benefits-related issues, please contact any of Graydon’s employee benefits team.