Information request: Suspension of plan benefits

Information request: Suspension of plan benefits

The Treasury Department and IRS today released for publication in the Federal Register a “request for information” [REG-102648-15] that seeks comments concerning future guidance that would be issued to implement provisions of Code section 432(e)(9).

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Section 432(e)(9) permits the sponsor of a multiemployer defined benefit plan that is in “critical and declining status” to suspend certain benefits following notice to affected parties, consideration of public comments, an application to the Treasury Secretary, approval of the application and satisfaction of other listed conditions.

The request for information [PDF 184 KB] states that comments must be received by a date that is 45 days after it is published in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for February 18, 2015.


The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (that was part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015) amended Code section 432 and added measures that permit a sponsor of a multiemployer defined benefit plan that is “in critical and declining status” to suspend certain benefits, if certain conditions are satisfied.

Today’s release seeks comments on critical matters that will be addressed in future guidance to implement section 432(e)(9). The comments requested pertain to:

  • The standards for determining “critical and declining status”
  • The benefits that may be suspended
  • The notice that an application to suspend benefits has been filed
  • The participant vote required before any suspension can take effect

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