26 CFR § 1.413-1 - Special rules for collectively bargained plans.

(a) Application of section 413(b) to certain collectively bargained plans -

(1) In general. Section 413(b) sets forth special rules applicable to certain pension, profit-sharing, and stock bonus plans (and each trust which is a part of such a plan), hereinafter referred to as “section 413(b) plans”, described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Code, a section 413(b) plan is subject to the special rules of section 413(b) (1) through (8) and paragraphs (b) through (i) of this section.

(2) Requirements. Section 413(b) applies to a plan (and each trust which is a part of such plan) if the plan is a single plan which is maintained pursuant to one or more agreements which the Secretary of Labor finds to be a collective bargaining agreement between employee representatives and one or more employers. A plan which provides benefits for employees of more than one employer is considered a single plan subject to the requirements of section 413(b) and this section if the plan is considered a single plan for purposes of applying section 414(l) (see § 1.414(l)-1(b)(1)). For purposes of determining whether one or more plans (or agreements) are a single plan, under sections 413(a) and 414(l), it is irrelevant that there are in form two or more separate plans (or agreements). For example, a single plan will be considered to exist where agreements are entered into separately by a national labor organization (or one or more local units of such organization), on one hand, and individual employers, on the other hand, if the plan is considered a single plan for purposes of applying section 414(l).

(3) Additional rules and effective dates.

(i) If a plan is a section 413(b) plan at a relevant time, the rules of section 413(b) and this section apply, and the rules of section 413(c) and § 1.413-2 do not apply to the plan.

(ii) The qualification of a section 413(b) plan, at any relevant time, under section 401(a), 403(a), or 405(a), as modified by sections 413(b) and this section, is determined with respect to all employers maintaining the plan. Consequently, the failure by one employer maintaining the plan (or by the plan itself) to satisfy an applicable qualification requirement will result in the disqualification of the plan for all employers maintaining the plan.

(iii) Except as otherwise provided, section 413 (a) and (b) and this section apply to a plan for plan years beginning after December 31, 1953.

(b) Participation. Section 410 and the regulations thereunder shall be applied as if all employees of each of the employers who are parties to the collective-bargaining agreement and all such employees who are subject to the same benefit computation formula under the plan were employed by a single employer.

(c) Discrimination, etc. -

(1) General rule. Section 401(a)(4) (relating to prohibited discrimination) and section 411(d)(3) (relating to vesting required on termination, partial termination, or discontinuance of contributions) shall be applied as if all the participants in the plan, who are subject to the same benefit computation formula and who are employed by employers who are parties to the collective bargaining agreement, are employed by a single employer.

(2) Application of discrimination rules. Under section 401(a)(4) and the regulations thereunder a plan is not qualified unless the contributions or benefits provided under the plan do not discriminate in favor of officers, shareholders or highly compensated employees (hereinafter referred to collectively as “the prohibited group”). The presence or absence of such discrimination under a plan to which this section applies at any time shall not be determined on an employer-by-employer basis, but rather by testing separately each group of employees who are subject to the same benefit computation formula to determine if there is discrimination within such group. Consequently, discrimination in contributions or benefits among two or more different groups or among employees in different groups covered by the plan may be present without causing the plan to be disqualified. However, the presence of prohibited discrimination within one such group will result in the disqualification of the plan for all groups. Section 401(a)(4) and the regulations thereunder provide rules relating to the determination of which employees are members of the prohibited group and to the determination of discrimination in contributions or benefits which are applicable to a plan to which this section applies. The determination of whether or not an individual employee is a highly compensated employee shall be based on the relationship of the compensation of the employee to the compensation of all the other employees of all employers who are maintaining the plan and have employees covered under the same benefit computation formula, whether or not such other employees are covered by the plan or are covered under the same benefit computation formula, rather than to the compensation of all the other employees of the employer of such individual employee.

(3) Application of termination, etc. rules. Section 411(d)(3) and the regulations thereunder (relating to vesting required in the case of a termination, partial termination, or complete discontinuance of contributions) apply to a plan subject to the provisions of this section. The requirements of section 411(d)(3) shall be applied as if all participants in the plan who are subject to the same benefit computation formula and who are employed by employers who are parties to the collective bargaining agreement are employed by a single employer. The determination of whether or not there is a termination, partial termination, or complete discontinuance of contributions shall be made separately for each such group of participants who are treated as employed by a single employer. Consequently, if there are two or more groups of participants, a termination, partial termination, or complete discontinuance can take place under a plan with respect to one group of participants but not with respect to another such group of participants or for the entire plan. See § 1.411(d)-2 for rules prescribed under section 411(d)(3).

(4) Effective dates and transitional rules.

(i) Section 413(b)(2) and this paragraph apply to a plan for plan years beginning after December 31, 1953.

(ii) In applying the rules of this paragraph to a plan for plan years to which section 411 does not apply, section 401(a)(7) (as in effect on September 1, 1974) shall be substituted for section 411(d)(3). See § 1.401-6 for rules prescribed under section 401(a)(7) as in effect on September 1, 1974. See § 1.411(a)-2 for the effective dates of section 411.

(5) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph are illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1.
Plan A is a defined benefit plan subject to the provisions of this section and covers two groups of participants, local unions 1 and 2. Each local union has negotiated its own bargaining agreement with employers X, Y, and Z to provide its own benefit computation formula. The following table indicates the composition of the plan A participants:
Employer X Employer Y Employer Z Total
Local union 1 20 10 70 100
Local union 2 30 70 100 200
Under the rules of subparagraph (2) of this paragraph, the determination of whether contributions or benefits provided under the plan discriminate in favor of the prohibited group is made by applying the rules of section 401(a)(4) separately to participants who are members of local union 1 and local union 2. Thus, plan A will satisfy the qualification requirements of section 401(a)(4) if, within local union 1 and local union 2, respectively, plan benefits do not discriminate in favor of participants who are prohibited group employees within local union 1 and local union 2. Under the rules of subparagraph (2) of this paragraph, the determination under section 401(a)(4) of whether or not any individual employee, included within the 300 participants in plan A, is a highly compensated employee is based on the relationship of the compensation of such individual employee to the compensation of all the employees of Employers X, Y, and Z, whether or not such employees are participants in plan A. Thus, if there are 20 participants who are prohibited group employees within the 100 participants of local union 1, discrimination is determined by comparing the benefits of the 20 prohibited group participants to the benefits of the other 80 participants within local union 1. The same comparison would have to be made for the local union 2 participants between the prohibited group participants and the other participants in local union 2. Discrimination in benefits, if any, between the participants in local union 1 and local union 2, or among the employees of X, Y, or Z, would not affect the qualification of plan A under section 401(a)(4).
Example 2.
Assume the same facts as in example (1). Employer X withdraws from the plan. Under subparagraph (3) of this paragraph, whether or not as a result of the withdrawal there is a partial termination under section 411(d)(3) is to be determined by applying the requirements of such section separately to the local union 1 and local union 2 participants. See § 1.411(d)-2 for the requirements relating to partial terminations. The application of such requirements raises the following possibilities with respect to the plan: (1) A partial termination as to local union 1, (2) a partial termination as to local union 2, (3) a partial termination as to both local unions 1 and 2, or (4) no partial termination for either local union.
Example 3.
Assume the same facts as in example (1). Plan A is amended to cease future benefit accruals under the plan for local union 1 participants. Under subparagraph (3) of the paragraph, whether or not as a result of the cessation there is a partial termination under section 411(d)(3) is to be determined by applying the requirements of such section separately to the local union 1 and local union 2 participants.
Example 4.
Plan A is a defined benefit plan that provides for two normal retirement benefits, X and 2X. A participant receives benefit X if the collective bargaining agreement covering his employment provides for a contribution rate, M. If such agreement provides for a contribution rate of N, the participant receives benefit 2X. Benefit X and benefit 2X constitute separate benefit computation formulas.
Example 5.
Plan B is a defined benefit plan that provides for a normal retirement benefit, X. Benefit X is provided for all plan participants even though there are two collective bargaining agreements providing for different contribution rates, M and N. Plan B has a single benefit computation formula, even though there are two contribution rates.

(d) Exclusive benefit. Under section 401(a), a plan is not qualified unless the plan is for the exclusive benefit of the employees (and their beneficiaries) of the employer establishing and maintaining the plan. Other qualification requirements under section 401(a) require the application of the exclusive benefit rule (for example, section 401(a)(2), which precludes diversion of plan assets). For purposes of applying the requirements of section 401(a) in determining whether a plan subject to this section is, with respect to each employer establishing and maintaining the plan, for the exclusive benefit of its employees (and their beneficiaries), all of the employees participating in the plan shall be treated as employees of each such employer. Thus, for example, contributions by employer A to a plan subject to this section could be allocated to employees of other employers maintaining the plan without violating the requirements of section 401(a)(2), because all the employees participating in the plan are deemed to be employees of A.

(e) Vesting. Section 411 (other than section 411(d)(3) relating to termination or partial termination; discontinuance of contributions) and the regulations thereunder shall be applied as if all employers who have been parties to the collective-bargaining agreement constituted a single employer. The application of any rules with respect to breaks in service under section 411 shall be made under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Labor. Thus, for example, all the hours which an employee worked for each employer in a collectively-bargained plan would be aggregated in computing the employee's hours of service under the plan. See also 29 CFR Part 2530 (Department of Labor regulations relating to minimum standards for employee pension benefit plans.)

(f)-(h) [Reserved]

(i) Employees of labor unions -

(1) General rule. For purposes of section 413(b) and this section, employees of employee representatives shall be treated as employees of an employer establishing and maintaining a plan to which section 413(b) and this section apply if, with respect to the employees of such representatives, the plan satisfies the nondiscrimination requirements of section 401(a)(4) (determined without regard to section 413(b)(2)) and the minimum participation and coverage requirements of section 410 (determined without regard to section 413(b)(1)). For purposes of the preceding sentence, the plan and any affiliated employee health or welfare plan shall be deemed to be an employee representative. If employees of employee representatives, the plan, or an affiliated employee health or welfare plan are covered by the plan and are not treated as employees of an employer establishing and maintaining the plan under the provisions of this paragraph, the plan fails to satisfy the qualification requirements of section 401(a). In addition, in order for such a plan to be qualified, the plan must satisfy the requirements of section 413(b) (1) and (2), relating to participation and discrimination, respectively; see paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. For purposes of this paragraph, an affiliated health or welfare plan is a health or welfare plan that is maintained under the same collective bargaining agreement or agreements, and that covers the same membership.

(2) Effective dates and transitional rules.

(i) Section 413(b)(8) and this paragraph apply to a plan for plan years beginning after December 31, 1953.

(ii) In applying the rules of this paragraph to a plan for plan years to which section 410 does not apply, section 401(a)(3) (as in effect on September 1, 1974) shall be substituted for section 410. See § 1.401-3 for rules prescribed under section 401(a)(3) as in effect on September 1, 1974. See § 1.410(a)-2 for the effective dates of section 410.

(3) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph are illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1.
Plan A is a defined benefit plan, maintained pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement between employers, X, Y, and Z and labor union, L, which covers members of L employed by X, Y, and Z. In 1978, plan A is amended to cover, under the same benefit formula, all five employees of L who have satisfied the minimum age and service requirements of the plans (age 25 and 1 year of service). Assume that plan A is subject to section 413(b) and satisfies the requirements of section 413(b) (1) and (2). Assume further that with respect to employees of L, plan A (i) satisfies the nondiscrimination requirements of section 401(a)(4), (ii) meets the minimum participation requirements of section 410(a), and (iii) meets the minimum coverage requirements of section 410(b)(1)(A). Under the rules of subparagraph (1) of this paragraph, because such requirements are all satisfied, the employees of L are treated as employees of an employer establishing and maintaining plan A.
Example 2.
Assume the same facts as example (1), except that plan A is amended to cover only one of the five employees of L, none of whom is covered by any other plan. Assume further that, under plan A, L does not satisfy the minimum percentage coverage requirement of section 410(b)(1)(A) with respect to employees of L. Assume further that the compensation of the one L employee who is covered by the plan is such that he is highly compensated relative to the four employees of L not covered by the plan. Consequently, L does not satisfy the minimum coverage requirements of section 410(b)(1)(B), with respect to employees of L. Under the rules of subparagraph (1) of this paragraph, the employees of L cannot be treated as employees of an employer establishing and maintaining the A plan because such coverage requirements are not satisfied by L. Consequently, the A plan fails to satisfy the qualification requirements of section 401(a).
[T.D. 7501, 42 FR 42340, Aug. 23, 1977, as amended by 42 FR 47198, Sept. 20, 1977; T.D. 7654, 44 FR 65063, Nov. 9, 1979]