e-CFR banner

Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 4, 2019

Title 29Subtitle BChapter XLSubchapter EPart 4050 → Subpart B


Title 29: Labor
PART 4050—MISSING PARTICIPANTS


Subpart B—Defined Contribution Plans


Contents
§4050.201   Purpose and scope.
§4050.202   Definitions.
§4050.203   Options and duties of plan.
§4050.204   Diligent search.
§4050.205   Filing with PBGC.
§4050.206   Missing participant benefits.
§4050.207   PBGC discretion.

§4050.201   Purpose and scope.

(a) In general. This subpart describes PBGC's missing participants program for single-employer and multiemployer defined contribution retirement plans. The missing participants program is a program to hold retirement benefits for missing participants and beneficiaries in terminated retirement plans and to help them find and receive the benefits being held for them. For a plan to which this subpart applies, this subpart describes what the plan must do upon plan termination if it elects to use the missing participants program for missing participants and beneficiaries who are entitled to distributions. This subpart applies to a plan only if it is a plan—

(1) That—

(i) Is a defined contribution (individual account) plan described in section 3(34) of ERISA; or

(ii) Is treated as a defined contribution (individual account) plan under section (3)(35) of ERISA (to the extent so treated);

(2) That is described in section 4021(a) of ERISA and not in any paragraph of section 4021(b) of ERISA other than paragraph (1), (5), (12), or (13), including a plan described in section 403(b) of the Code under which benefits are provided through custodial accounts described in section 403(b)(7) of the Code;

(3) That, if it is a transferring plan, pays all benefit transfer amounts to PBGC in money, consistent with plan provisions and applicable law; and

(4) That terminates and closes out.

(b) Defined contribution plans that are part of defined benefit plans. This subpart does not fail to apply to a plan merely because the plan is described in the same plan document as a defined benefit plan (to which this subpart does not apply). For example, this subpart may apply to employee contributions (or interest or earnings thereon) held as an individual account under a defined benefit plan.

(c) Defined contribution plans that are abandoned plans. This subpart does not fail to apply to a plan merely because the plan is an abandoned plan, as defined in 29 CFR 2578.1.

§4050.202   Definitions.

The following terms are defined in §4001.2 of this chapter: Annuity, Code, ERISA, PBGC, and person. In addition, for purposes of this subpart:

Accumulated single sum means, with respect to a missing distributee, the distributee's benefit transfer amount accumulated at the missing participants interest rate from the date when the subpart B plan pays PBGC the benefit transfer amount for the missing distributee to the date when PBGC makes or commences payment to or with respect to the distributee.

Benefit conversion assumptions means, with respect to an annuity, the applicable mortality table and applicable interest rate under section 205(g)(3) of ERISA and section 417(e)(3) of the Code for January of the calendar year in which PBGC begins paying the annuity.

Benefit transfer amount for a missing distributee in a transferring plan means the amount available for distribution to the distributee in connection with the close-out of the subpart B plan.

Close-out or close out with respect to a subpart B plan means the process of the final distribution or transfer of assets pursuant to the termination of the subpart B plan.

De minimis means, with respect to the value of a benefit (or other amount), that the value does not exceed the amount specified under section 203(e)(1) of ERISA and section 411(a)(11)(A) of the Code (without regard to plan provisions).

Distributee means, with respect to a subpart B plan, a participant or beneficiary entitled to a distribution under the plan pursuant to the close-out of the plan, except that a person is not a distributee if the subpart B plan transfers assets to another pension plan (within the meaning of section 3(2) of ERISA) to pay the person's benefits.

Missing, with respect to a distributee under a subpart B plan, means that any one or more of the following three conditions exists upon close-out of the plan.

(1) The plan does not know with reasonable certainty the location of the distributee.

(2) The distributee has not elected a form of distribution in response to a notice about the distribution.

(3) Under the terms of the plan and any election made by the distributee, the distributee's benefit is to be paid in a lump sum, but the distributee does not accept the lump sum. For this purpose, a lump sum paid by check is not accepted if the check remains uncashed after—

(i) A “cash-by” date prescribed (on the check or in an accompanying notice) that is at least 45 days after the issuance of the check, or

(ii) If no such “cash-by” date is so prescribed, the check's stale date.

Missing participants forms and instructions means the forms and instructions provided by PBGC for use in connection with the missing participants program.

Missing participants interest rate means, for each month, the applicable federal mid-term rate (as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to section 1274(d)(1)(C)(ii) of the Code) for that month, compounded monthly.

Notifying plan means a subpart B plan that elects notifying plan status in accordance with §4050.203.

QDRO means a qualified domestic relations order as defined in section 206(d)(3) of ERISA and section 414(p) of the Code.

Qualified survivor of a participant or beneficiary under a subpart B plan means, for any benefit with respect to the participant or beneficiary,—

(1) A person who survives the participant or beneficiary and is entitled under applicable provisions of a QDRO to receive the benefit;

(2) A person that is identified by the plan in a submission to PBGC by the plan as being entitled under applicable plan provisions (including elections, designations, and waivers consistent with such provisions) to receive the benefit; or

(3) If no such person is so entitled, a survivor of the participant or beneficiary who is the participant's or beneficiary's living—

(i) Spouse, or if none,

(ii) Child, or if none,

(iii) Parent, or if none,

(iv) Sibling.

Subpart B plan or plan means a plan to which this subpart B applies, as described in §4050.201.

Transferring plan means a subpart B plan that elects transferring plan status in accordance with §4050.203.

§4050.203   Options and duties of plan.

(a) Options. A subpart B plan that is closing out upon plan termination may (but need not) elect, by filing under §4050.205, that the subpart B plan—

(1) Will be a “transferring plan,” that is, will pay a benefit transfer amount to PBGC for each distributee who is missing upon close-out of the plan and will be bound by the provisions of this subpart B to the extent that they apply to transferring plans, or

(2) Will be a “notifying plan,” that is, will notify PBGC of the disposition of the benefits of each distributee identified in the filing who is missing upon close-out of the plan and will, with respect to those distributees, be bound by the provisions of this subpart B to the extent that they apply to notifying plans.

(b) Diligent search—(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, for each distributee whose location the plan does not know with reasonable certainty upon close-out of a subpart B plan, the plan must have conducted a diligent search as described in §4050.204.

(2) Notifying plans. For a notifying plan, the requirement of paragraph (b)(1) of this section applies only to distributees identified in the filing with PBGC.

(c) Filing with PBGC—(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, for each distributee who is missing upon close-out of a subpart B plan, the plan must file with PBGC as described in §4050.205.

(2) Notifying plans. For a notifying plan, the requirement of paragraph (c)(1) of this section applies only to distributees identified in the filing with PBGC.

§4050.204   Diligent search.

(a) Search requirement—(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, a subpart B plan must, within the time frame described in paragraph (b) of this section, have diligently searched for each distributee of the plan whose location the plan does not know with reasonable certainty upon close-out in accordance with regulations and other applicable guidance issued by the Secretary of Labor under section 404 of ERISA.

(2) Notifying plans. For a notifying plan, the requirement of paragraph (a)(1) of this section applies only to distributees identified in the filing with PBGC.

(b) Time frame. A search for a missing distributee must be made within nine months before a filing is made under §4050.205 identifying the distributee as a missing distributee.

§4050.205   Filing with PBGC.

(a) What to file. A subpart B plan must file with PBGC the information specified in the missing participants forms and instructions, and if the plan is a transferring plan, payment of—

(1) The benefit transfer amount for the missing distributee; and

(2) Any fee provided for in the missing participants forms and instructions.

(b) When to file. The plan must file the information and payments referred to in paragraph (a) of this section in accordance with the missing participants forms and instructions.

(c) Place, method and date of filing; time periods. (1) For rules about where to file, see §4000.4 of this chapter.

(2) For rules about permissible methods of filing with PBGC under this subpart, see subpart A of part 4000 of this chapter.

(3) For rules about the date that a submission under this subpart was filed with PBGC, see subpart C of part 4000 of this chapter.

(4) For rules about any time period for filing under this subpart, see subpart D of part 4000 of this chapter.

(d) Supplemental information. Within 30 days after a written request by PBGC (or such other time as may be specified in the request), the plan administrator of a subpart B plan required to file under paragraph (a) of this section must file with PBGC supplemental information for any proper purpose under the missing participants program.

(e) Reliance. As administrator of the missing participants program, PBGC will rely on determinations made and information reported by plans in connection with the program.

§4050.206   Missing participant benefits.

(a) In general—(1) Notifying plan. If a notifying plan files with PBGC information about a disposition of benefits made by the subpart B plan for a missing distributee, PBGC will provide information about the disposition of benefits to the distributee or another claimant that may be entitled to the benefits.

(2) Transferring plan. If a transferring plan pays PBGC a benefit transfer amount for a missing distributee, PBGC will pay benefits with respect to the missing distributee in accordance with this section, subject to the provisions of a QDRO.

(b) Benefits for missing distributees who are participants. Paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of this section describe the benefits that PBGC will pay to a missing participant of a subpart B plan who claims a benefit under the missing participants program.

(c) De minimis benefit. If the benefit transfer amount of a participant described in paragraph (b) of this section is de minimis, PBGC will pay the participant a lump sum equal to the accumulated single sum.

(d) Non-de minimis benefit of unmarried participant. If the benefit transfer amount of an unmarried participant described in paragraph (b) of this section is not de minimis, PBGC will pay the participant either the annuity described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, beginning not before age 55; or, if the participant so elects, the lump sum described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(1) Annuity. The annuity described in this paragraph (d)(1) is, at the participant's election, any form of annuity available to the participant under §4022.8 of this chapter, in an amount that is actuarially equivalent, under the benefit conversion assumptions, to the participant's accumulated single sum.

(2) Lump sum. The lump sum described in this paragraph (d)(2) is the participant's accumulated single sum.

(e) Non-de minimis benefit of married participant. If the benefit transfer amount of a married participant described in paragraph (b) of this section is not de minimis, PBGC will pay the participant either the annuity described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, beginning not before age 55; or, if the participant so elects with the consent of the participant's spouse, the lump sum described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(1) Annuity. The annuity described in this paragraph (e)(1) is either—

(i) Joint and survivor annuity. A joint and 50 percent survivor annuity in an amount that is actuarially equivalent, under the benefit conversion assumptions, to the participant's accumulated single sum; or

(ii) Other form of annuity. At the participant's election, with the consent of the participant's spouse, any form of annuity available to the participant under §4022.8 of this chapter, in an amount that is actuarially equivalent, under the benefit conversion assumptions, to the participant's accumulated single sum.

(2) Lump sum. The lump sum described in this paragraph (e)(2) is the participant's accumulated single sum.

(f) Benefits with respect to deceased missing distributees who were participants. Paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this section describe the benefits that PBGC will pay with respect to a missing participant of a subpart B plan who dies without receiving a benefit under the missing participants program.

(g) De minimis benefit. If the benefit transfer amount of a participant described in paragraph (f) of this section is de minimis, and the participant's qualified survivor claims a benefit under the missing participants program, PBGC will pay the claimant a lump sum equal to the participant's accumulated single sum.

(h) Non-de minimis benefit; non-spousal qualified survivor. If the benefit transfer amount of a married or unmarried participant described in paragraph (f) of this section is not de minimis, and the participant's qualified survivor is not the participant's surviving spouse and claims a benefit under the missing participants program, PBGC will pay the claimant a lump sum equal to the participant's accumulated single sum.

(i) Non-de minimis benefit; surviving spouse is qualified survivor. If the benefit transfer amount of a married participant described in paragraph (f) of this section is not de minimis, and the participant's qualified survivor is the participant's surviving spouse and claims a benefit under the missing participants program, PBGC will, at the spouse's election, either pay the spouse, beginning not before the participant would have reached age 55, the annuity described in paragraph (i)(1) of this section; or pay the spouse the lump sum described in paragraph (i)(2) of this section.

(1) Annuity. The annuity described in this paragraph (i)(1) is a straight life annuity for the life of the spouse in an amount that is actuarially equivalent, under the benefit conversion assumptions, to the participant's accumulated single sum.

(2) Lump sum. The lump sum described in this paragraph (i)(2) is a lump sum equal to the participant's accumulated single sum.

(j) Date for determining marital status. For purposes of this section, whether a participant is married, and if so the identity of the spouse, is determined as of the earlier of—

(1) The date the participant receives or begins to receive a benefit, or

(2) The date the participant dies.

§4050.207   PBGC discretion.

PBGC may in appropriate circumstances extend deadlines, excuse noncompliance, and grant waivers with regard to any provision of this subpart to promote the purposes of the missing participants program and title IV of ERISA. Like circumstances will be treated in like manner under this section.

Need assistance?