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IRS Answers Pension Plan Fix Questions

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has posted a batch of answers to questions about how multiemployer defined benefit plans should apply the Great Recession relief rules.

The IRS developed the new batch of advice, Funding Relief For Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans Under PRA 2010, Notice 2010-83, to implement the pension funding provisions in Section 211(a)(2) of the Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act (PRA) of 2010.

The PRA provisions let the multiemployer defined benefit pension plans that are insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. use special amortization rules and asset valuation rules in either or both of the first 2 plan years ending after Aug. 31, 2008.

Using the provisions can help pension plan sponsors avoid the penalties or restrictions that might be imposed as a result of the effects of the Great Recession on plan funding levels.

In a section on the extended amortization period for “eligible net investment losses,” the IRS answers questions such as, “For purposes of determining an eligible net investment loss, what is a criminally fraudulent investment arrangement?”

“For purposes of determining an eligible net investment loss, a criminally fraudulent investment arrangement is an investment arrangement with respect to which a loss would be treated as a theft loss under” another IRS section, officials say in the notice.

Officials also discuss issues such as the extent to which the actuarial value of plan assets can vary from the market value of plan assets and the period that applies for purposes of a plan actuary’s solvency certification.