by Paul J. Compernolle, Ashley McCarthy and Maureen O’Brien
Section 4043 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires pension plan sponsors to report a variety of corporate and plan events to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). In November 2009, the PBGC proposed regulations that would have eliminated most of the reporting waivers available under current law and drastically increased the reporting requirements applicable to pension plans. Plan sponsors and practitioners widely criticized the 2009 proposed regulations as overly burdensome. Citing both this feedback and a 2010 executive order directing agencies to review existing regulations to identify those that could be made less onerous, the PBGC recently issued revised proposed regulations (the Proposed Regulations) that reinstate many of the exemptions that would have been eliminated under the 2009 proposed regulations. The Proposed Regulations would also replace the current funding-based exemption scheme with an approach based on the financial soundness of pension plans and their sponsors.