29 CFR 4011.10 - Form of notice.

§ 4011.10 Form of notice.
(a) General. The Participant Notice (and any additional information under paragraph (d) of this section) shall be readable and written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant and not to mislead recipients. The Model Participant Notice in appendix A to this part (when properly completed) is an example of a Participant Notice meeting the requirements of this section.
(b) Content. The Participant Notice for a plan year shall include—
(1) Identifying information (the name of the plan and the contributing sponsor, the employer identification number of the contributing sponsor, the plan number, the date (at least the month and year) on which the Participant Notice is issued, and the name, title, address and telephone number of the person(s) who can provide information about the plan's funding);
(2) A statement to the effect that the Participant Notice is required by law;
(3) The Notice Funding Percentage for the plan year, determined in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section, and the date as of which the Notice Funding Percentage is determined;
(4) A statement to the effect that—
(i) To pay pension benefits, the employer is required to contribute money to the plan over a period of years;
(ii) A plan's funding percentage does not take into consideration the financial strength of the employer; and
(iii) The employer, by law, must pay for all pension benefits, but benefits may be at risk if the employer faces a severe financial crisis or is in bankruptcy;
(5) If, for any of the five plan years immediately preceding the plan year, the plan has been granted a minimum funding waiver under section 303 of ERISA that has not (as of the end of the prior plan year) been fully repaid, a statement identifying each such plan year and an explanation of a minimum funding waiver;
(6) For any payment subject to the requirements of this paragraph, a statement identifying the due date for the payment and noting that the payment has or has not been made and (if made) the date of the payment. Once participants have been notified (under this part or title I of ERISA) of a missed contribution that is subject to the requirements of this paragraph, the delinquency need not be reported in a Participant Notice for a subsequent plan year if the missed contribution has been paid in full by the time the subsequent Participant Notice is issued. The payments subject to the requirements of this paragraph are—
(i) Any minimum funding payment necessary to satisfy the minimum funding standard under section 302(a) of ERISA for any plan year beginning on or after January 1, 1994, if not paid by the earlier of the due date for that payment (the latest date allowed under section 302(c)(10)) or the date of issuance of the Participant Notice; and
(ii) An installment or other payment required by section 302 of ERISA for a plan year beginning on or after January 1, 1995, that was not paid by the 60th day after the due date for that payment;
(7) A statement to the effect that if a plan terminates before all pension benefits are fully funded, the PBGC pays most persons all pension benefits, but some persons may lose certain benefits that are not guaranteed;
(8) A summary of plan benefits guaranteed by the PBGC, with an explanation of the limitations on such guarantee; and
(9) A statement that further information about the PBGC's guarantee may be obtained by requesting a free copy of the booklet “Your Guaranteed Pension” from Consumer Information Center, Dept. YGP, Pueblo, Colorado 81009. The Participant Notice may include a statement that the booklet may be obtained through electronic access via the World Wide Web from the PBGC Homepage at http://www.pbgc.gov.
(c) Notice Funding Percentage—
(1) General rule. The Notice Funding Percentage that must be included in the Participant Notice for a plan year is the “funded current liability percentage” (as that term is defined in section 302(d)(9)(C) of ERISA) for that plan year or the prior plan year.
(2) Small plans. A plan that is exempt from the requirements of section 302(d) of ERISA for a plan year by reason of section 302(d)(6)(A) may determine its funded current liability percentage for that plan year using the Small Plan DRC Exception Test rules in § 4011.4(b).
(d) Additional information. The plan administrator may include with the Participant Notice any information not described in paragraph (b) of this section only if it is in a separate document.
(e) Foreign languages. In the case of a plan that (as of the date selected under § 4011.7) covers the numbers or percentages specified in § 2520.104b-10(e) of this title of participants literate only in the same non-English language, the plan administrator shall provide those participants either—
(1) An English-language Participant Notice that prominently displays a legend, in their common non-English language, offering them assistance in that language, and clearly setting forth any procedures participants must follow to obtain such assistance, or
(2) A Participant Notice in that language.
[61 FR 34026, July 1, 1996, as amended at 65 FR 75165, Dec. 1, 2000]
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