29 CFR § 4043.29 - Change in controlled group.
(a) Reportable event.
(1) A reportable event occurs for a plan when there is a transaction that results, or will result, in one or more persons' (including any person who is or was a contributing sponsor) ceasing to be a member of the plan's controlled group (other than by merger involving members of the same controlled group).
(2) For purposes of this section, the term “transaction” includes, but is not limited to, a legally binding agreement, whether or not written, to transfer ownership, an actual transfer of ownership, and an actual change in ownership that occurs as a matter of law or through the exercise or lapse of pre-existing rights. Whether an agreement is legally binding is to be determined without regard to any conditions in the agreement. A transaction is not reportable if it will result solely in a reorganization involving a mere change in identity, form, or place of organization, however effected.
(1) De minimis 10-percent segment. Notice under this section is waived if the person or persons that will cease to be members of the plan's controlled group represent a de minimis 10-percent segment of the plan's old controlled group for the most recent fiscal year(s) ending on or before the date the reportable event occurs.
(4) Low-default-risk. Notice under this section is waived if each post-event contributing sponsor of the plan and the highest level U.S. parent of each post-event contributing sponsor are low-default-risk on the date of the event.
(6) Public company. Notice under this section is waived if any contributing sponsor of the plan before the transaction, or the parent company within a parent-subsidiary controlled group of any such contributing sponsor, is a public company and timely files a SEC Form 8-K disclosing the event under an item of the Form 8-K other than under Item 2.02 (Results of Operations and Financial Condition) or in financial statements under Item 9.01 (Financial Statements and Exhibits).
(c) Examples. The following examples assume that no waiver applies.
(1) Controlled group breakup. Company A (the contributing sponsor of Plan A), and Company B (the contributing sponsor of Plan B) are in the same controlled group with Parent Company AB. On March 31, Parent Company AB and Company C enter into an agreement to sell the stock of Company B to Company C, a company outside of the controlled group. The transaction will close on August 31 and Company B will continue to maintain Plan B. Both Company A (Plan A's contributing sponsor) and the plan administrator of Plan A are required to report that Company B will leave Plan A's controlled group. Company B (Plan B's contributing sponsor) and the plan administrator of Plan B are required to report that Company A and Parent Company AB are no longer part of Plan B's controlled group. Both reports are due on April 30, 30 days after they entered into the agreement to sell Company B.
(2) Change in contributing sponsor. Plan Q is maintained by Company Q. Company Q enters into a binding contract to sell a portion of its assets and to transfer employees participating in Plan Q, along with Plan Q, to Company R, which is not a member of Company Q's controlled group. There will be no change in the structure of Company Q's controlled group. On the effective date of the sale, Company R will become the contributing sponsor of Plan Q. A reportable event occurs on the date of the transaction (i.e., the date the binding contract was executed), because as a result of the transaction, Company Q (and any other member of its controlled group) will cease to be a member of Plan Q's controlled group. If on the notice due date the change in the contributing sponsor has not yet become effective, Company Q has the reporting obligation. If the change in the contributing sponsor has become effective by the notice due date, Company R has the reporting obligation.
(3) Dissolution of controlled group member. Company A (which maintains Plan A) and Company B are in the same controlled group with Parent Company AB. Pursuant to an asset sale agreement, Company B sells its assets to a company outside of the controlled group. After the sale, Company B will be dissolved and no longer operating. Since Company B will no longer be a member of Plan A's controlled group, a reportable event occurs on the date Company B enters into the asset sale agreement. Note that this event may also be required to be reported as a liquidation event under 29 CFR 4043.30.
(4) Merger of controlled group members. Company A (which maintains Plan A) and Company B are in the same controlled group with Parent Company AB. Parent Company AB decides to merge the operations of Company B into Company A. Although Company B will no longer be a member of Plan A's controlled group, no report is due given Company B is merging with Company A.