29 CFR 4044.4 - Violations.
(a)General. A plan administrator violates ERISA if plan assets are allocated or distributed upon plan termination in a manner other than that prescribed in section 4044 of ERISA and this subpart, except as may be required to prevent disqualification of the plan under the Code and regulations thereunder.
(b)Distributions in anticipation of termination. A distribution, transfer, or allocation of assets to a participant or to an insurance company for the benefit of a participant, made in anticipation of plan termination, is considered to be an allocation of plan assets upon termination, and is covered by paragraph (a) of this section. In determining whether a distribution, transfer, or allocation of assets has been made in anticipation of plan termination PBGC will consider all of the facts and circumstances including -
(1) Any change in funding or operation procedures;
(2) Past practice with regard to employee requests for forms of distribution;
(3) Whether the distribution is consistent with plan provisions; and