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H.R. 3396 (103rd): Retirement Protection Act of 1994


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Aug 26, 1994.


TABLE OF CONTENTS: Title I: Pension Plan Funding Subtitle A: Amendments to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 Subtitle B: Amendments to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 Title II: Amendments Related to Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 Title III: Participant Services Title IV: Miscellaneous Amendments Title V: Effective Dates and Related Rules Retirement Protection Act of 1994 - Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to revise provisions for pension plan funding, compliance, premiums, and participant protection and services. Title I: Pension Plan Funding - Subtitle A: Amendments to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 - Amends ERISA requirements for pension plan funding, including: (1) minimum funding, revising additional funding requirements for single-employer plans; (2) limitation on changes in current liability assumptions; (3) anticipation of bargained benefit increases; and (4) modification of the quarterly contribution requirement. Subtitle B: Amendments to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 - Amends IRC requirements for pension plan funding, including: (1) minimum funding, revising additional funding requirements for single-employer plans; (2) limitation on changes in current liability assumptions; (3) anticipation of bargained benefit increases; (4) modification of the quarterly contribution requirement; and (5) exceptions to the excise tax on nondeductible contributions. Title II: Amendments Related to Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 - Amends title IV (Plan Termination Insurance) of ERISA to revise requirements relating to reportable events. Authorizes the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to apply for other judicial relief as an alternative to involuntary termination. Requires that specified additional information be furnished to the PBGC. Adds provisions relating to liability upon liquidation of a contributing sponsor or controlled group member where a single-employer plan remains ongoing. Revises provisions for: (1) enforcement of minimum funding requirements; and (2) remedies for noncompliance with requirements for standard termination. Prohibits benefit increases or other changes which increase plan liabilities where a plan sponsor is in bankruptcy. Revises provisions relating to substantial owner benefits to modify the phase-in of guarantee and the allocation of assets. Phases out the variable rate premium cap. Title III: Participant Services - Amends ERISA to require the plan administrator of a plan subject to a specified additional premium to notify plan participants and beneficiaries of the plan's funding status and the limits on the PBGC's guaranty should the plan terminate while underfunded. Adds provisions relating to missing participants. Revises provisions relating to modification of the maximum guarantee for disability benefits. Title IV: Miscellaneous Amendments - Amends IRC and ERISA with respect to: (1) citation of this Act; (2) definition of contributing sponsor; (3) distress termination criteria for banking institutions; (4) single sum distributions; (5) adjustments to the lien for missed minimum funding contributions; (6) rounding rules for cost of living adjustments; and (7) funding of restored plans. Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to specified congressional committees on underfunding. Title V: Effective Dates and Related Rules - Sets forth effective dates for this Act. Requires any change in the prevailing commissioners' standard table to be appropriate for terminating pension plans and to apply to plan years beginning on or after the later of January 1, 2000, or a date determined by the Secretary of the Treasury that is after the Secretary's issuance of a revised table based on such standard table. Directs the Secretary, in issuing regulations for such revised table, to take into account the results of any independent studies on appropriate bases and public comment on such studies.