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PBGC Publishes Guidance for Eligible Multiemployer Pension Plans Seeking to Apply for Special Financial Assistance During the Non-Priority Group Application Period

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced new guidance for eligible multiemployer plans seeking to apply for Special Financial Assistance (SFA) during the non-priority group application period, which begins on March 11, 2023. SWACCA advocated for passage of the SFA in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and worked to shape implementation of the SFA securing changes in the SFA final rule released July 2022 that loosened investment restrictions on plans receiving SFA awards.

Per this new notice, PBGC highlights that, due to the extensive review process required for SFA application, the agency is limited in the number of applications it can review at any time. To facilitate an expeditious and thorough review process, the SFA regulation includes a metering system that permits the temporary closure of the e-Filing portal until PBGC has capacity to process more applications. To that end, due to PBGC’s current and anticipated inventory of SFA applications, the e-Filing portal will be closed temporarily beginning at 12:00 AM ET on Saturday, March 11, 2023, to SFA applications.

Beginning on March 13, 2023, PBGC will begin to accept requests to be placed on a waiting list for plans seeking to apply for SFA. Additional guidance on the non-priority group application process is available here, and includes details on the application process for emergency filings and lock-in applications.

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