29 CFR 4043.9 - Company low-default-risk safe harbor.

§ 4043.9 Company low-default-risk safe harbor.

(a)Low-default-risk. An entity (a “company”) that is a contributing sponsor of a plan or the highest level U.S. parent of a contributing sponsor is “low-default-risk” on the date of an event if that date falls within a safe harbor period of the company as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b)Safe harbor period. A safe harbor period for a company means a period that -

(1) Begins on a financial information date (as described in paragraph (c) of this section) on which the company satisfies the low-default-risk standard in paragraph (e) of this section, and

(2) Ends 13 months later or (if earlier) on the company's next financial information date.

(c)Financial information date. A financial information date for a company means -

(1) A date on which the company files on Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) audited annual financial statements (including balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and notes to the financial statements) for the company's most recent completed fiscal year preceding the date of such filing;

(2) The date (the “closing date”) on which the company closes the annual accounting period that results in the production of audited or unaudited annual financial statements for the company's most recent completed fiscal year preceding the closing date, if audited annual financial statements are not required to be filed with the SEC; or

(3) A date on which the company files with IRS an annual federal income tax return or IRS Form 990 (in either case, a “return”) for the company's most recent completed fiscal year preceding the date of such filing, if at the time the return is filed there are no annual financial statements for the year of the return.

(d)Supporting financial information. For purposes of this section, the “supporting financial information” is the annual financial statements or return associated with the establishment of the financial information date.

(e)Low-default-risk standard -

(1)Adequate capacity. For purposes of this part, except as provided in paragraph (e)(4) of this section, a company meets the low-default-risk standard as of a financial information date (the “qualifying date”) if the company has adequate capacity to meet its obligations in full and on time on the qualifying date as evidenced by satisfying either:

(i) Both of the criteria described in paragraphs (e)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section, or

(ii) Any four of the seven criteria described in paragraphs (e)(2)(i) through (vii) of this section.

(2)Criteria evidencing adequate capacity. The criteria referred to in paragraph (e)(1) of this section are:

(i) The probability that the company will default on its financial obligations is not more than four percent over the next five years or not more than 0.4 percent over the next year, in either case determined on the basis of widely available financial information on the company's credit quality.

(ii) The company's secured debt (disregarding leases and debt incurred to acquire or improve property and secured only by that property) does not exceed 10 percent of the company's total assets.

(iii) The company has a ratio of retained-earnings-to-total-assets of 0.25 or more.

(iv) The company has a ratio of total-debt-to-EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of 3.0 or less.

(v) The company has positive net income for the two most recently completed fiscal years preceding the qualifying date.

(vi) During the two-year period ending on the qualifying date, the company has not experienced an event described in § 4043.34(a)(1) or (2) (dealing with a default on a loan with an outstanding balance of $10 million or more) with respect to any loan with an outstanding balance of $10 million or more to the company regardless of whether reporting was waived under § 4043.34(b).

(vii) During the two-year period ending on the qualifying date, there has not been any failure to make when due any contribution described in § 4043.25(a)(1) or (2) (dealing with failure to make required minimum funding payments), unless reporting was waived under § 4043.25(c).

(3)Using financial information to evaluate criteria - (i) Subject to paragraph (e)(3)(ii) of this section with respect to evaluating the criterion described in paragraph (e)(2)(v) of this section, to evaluate whether criteria described in paragraphs (e)(2)(ii) through (v) of this section are met, a company must use the supporting financial information described in paragraph (d) of this section associated with the qualifying date.

(ii) In addition to the use of the supporting financial information to evaluate criteria as described in paragraph (e)(3)(i) of this section, to evaluate whether the criterion described in paragraph (e)(2)(v) of this section is met, the company must also use the supporting financial information as described in paragraph (d) of this section associated with the financial information date for the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year covered by the supporting financial information associated with the qualifying date.

(iii) For purposes of paragraph (e)(2)(v) of this section, the excess of total revenue over total expenses as reported on the IRS Form 990 is considered to be net income.

(4)Exception. If a company receives an audit or review report for supporting financial information described in paragraph (d) of this section associated with the qualifying date that expresses a material adverse view or qualification, the company does not satisfy the low-default-risk standard.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

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