PBGC Seeks Adviser and Provider Input on Agenda

Retirement plan industry stakeholders are asked what objectives and projects the pension insurance agency should prioritize in the years ahead. 

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) published a request for information (RFI) in the Federal Register, seeking feedback on what regulatory and deregulatory actions the agency should pursue.

The RFI includes 13 questions that respondents can address in their comments. It also offers an opportunity to introduce other concerns and suggestions, PBGC explains.

Comments can be submitted via email to reg.comments@pbgc.gov, or directly through the Federal eRulemaking portal.

PBGC shares the following tips for responding to the RFI effectively: “With an eye toward the Fall iteration of the semi-annual regulatory agenda, PBGC is requesting information, suggestions, and comment from the public—including from plan sponsors, participants, practitioners, organizations representing retirees and plan participants, and other parties participating in or affected by PBGC’s programs—on regulatory and deregulatory actions PBGC should take … To maximize the effectiveness of comments, PBGC suggests that commenters clearly identify the regulation at issue, providing the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) citation where available; explain, in as much detail as possible, why they believe regulating in a specific area is necessary or beneficial, or why an existing rule may be outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective; and describe the costs and benefits of taking a particular regulatory or deregulatory action and the data or experience on which the commenter bases a recommendation.”

In particular, PBGC wants know what whether “tools such as regulatory safe harbors” help plans and sponsors comply with applicable requirements, and if so, what areas particularly would benefit from additional safe harbors?

Other topics raised by PBGC include whether there are “challenges affecting the establishment and maintenance of pension plans or other aspects of the private pension plan system that should be addressed through rulemaking or other guidance.”

The RFI continues: “Are there regulations PBGC should modernize that have become outdated? If so, what type of change (e.g., innovations in technology, business or actuarial practices, consumer needs) has caused the rules to become outdated? How would PBGC modernize such rules? What, if any, technological developments would relieve the administrative burden of an existing regulation or existing information collection? Are there regulations establishing programs or processes that have not operated as well as expected? If so, what specifically has not worked and why?”

The latter part of the RFI is concerned with regulations that are “unnecessarily complicated which could be streamlined to achieve regulatory objectives more efficiently,” as well as the matter of whether PBGC asks for information in forms or on reports that may be stale, duplicative, or unnecessary to achieve a particular statutory purpose or regulatory objective.