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(a) General rule. For purposes of determining the highest contribution rate under section 4219(c) of ERISA, a plan must disregard:
(1) Surcharge. Any surcharge under section 305(e)(7) of ERISA and section 432(e)(7) of the Code the obligation for which accrues on or after December 31, 2014.
(2) Contribution increase. Any increase in the contribution rate or other increase in contribution requirements that goes into effect during a plan year beginning after December 31, 2014, so that a plan may meet the requirements of a funding improvement plan under section 305(c) of ERISA and section 432(c) of the Code or a rehabilitation plan under section 305(e) of ERISA and section 432(e) of the Code, except to the extent that one of the following exceptions applies pursuant to section 305(g)(3) of ERISA and section 432(g)(3) of the Code:
(i) The increases in contribution requirements are due to increased levels of work, employment, or periods for which compensation is provided.
(ii) The additional contributions are used to provide an increase in benefits, including an increase in future benefit accruals, permitted by section 305(d)(1)(B) or (f)(1)(B) of ERISA and section 432(d)(1)(B) or (f)(1)(B) of the Code.
(b) Simplified method for a plan that is no longer in endangered or critical status. A plan sponsor may amend a plan without PBGC approval to use the simplified method in this paragraph (b) for purposes of determining the highest contribution rate for a plan that is no longer in endangered or critical status. The highest contribution rate is the greater of—
(1) The employer's contribution rate as of the date that is the later of the last day of the first plan year that ends on or after December 31, 2014 and the last day of the plan year the employer first contributes to the plan (the “employer freeze date”) plus any contribution increases after the employer freeze date, and before the employer's withdrawal date that are determined in accordance with the rules under §4219.3(a)(2)(ii); or
(2) The highest contribution rate for any plan year after the plan year that includes the expiration date of the first collective bargaining agreement of the withdrawing employer requiring plan contributions that expires after the plan is no longer in endangered or critical status, or, if earlier, the date as of which the withdrawing employer renegotiated a contribution rate effective after the plan year the plan is no longer in endangered or critical status.
(c) Example: The simplified method in paragraph (b) of this section is illustrated by the following example.
(1) Facts. A contributing employer withdraws in plan year 2028, after the 2027 expiration date of the first collective bargaining agreement requiring plan contributions that expires after the plan is no longer in critical status in plan year 2026. The plan sponsor determines that under the expiring collective bargaining agreement the employer's $4.50 hourly contribution rate in plan year 2014 was required to increase each year to $7.00 per hour in plan year 2025, to enable the plan to meet its rehabilitation plan. The plan sponsor determines that, over this period, a cumulative increase of $0.85 per hour was used to fund benefit increases, as provided by plan amendment. Under a new collective bargaining agreement effective in 2027, the employer's hourly contribution rate is reduced to $5.00.
(2) Highest contribution rate. The plan sponsor determines that the employer's highest contribution rate for purposes of section 4219(c) of ERISA is $5.35, because it is the greater of the highest rate in effect after the plan is no longer in critical status ($5.00) and the employer's contribution rate in plan year 2014 ($4.50) plus any increases between 2015 and 2025 ($0.85) that were required to be taken into account under section 305(g)(3) of ERISA.
(d) Effective and applicability dates. (1) Effective date. This section is effective on February 8, 2021.
(2) Applicability date. This section applies to employer withdrawals from multiemployer plans that occur in plan years beginning on or after February 8, 2021.
[86 FR 1277, Jan.8, 2021]
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['Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWA)']
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