29 CFR 4204.11 - Variance of the bond/escrow and sale-contract requirements.
(a)General rule. A purchaser's bond or escrow under section 4204(a)(1)(B) of ERISA and the sale-contract provision under section 4204(a)(1)(C) are not required if the parties to the sale inform the plan in writing of their intention that the sale be covered by section 4204 of ERISA and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the plan that at least one of the criteria contained in § 4204.12 or § 4204.13(a) is satisfied.
(b)Requests after posting of bond or establishment of escrow. A request for a variance may be submitted at any time. If, after a purchaser has posted a bond or placed money in escrow pursuant to section 4204(a)(1)(B) of ERISA, the purchaser demonstrates to the satisfaction of the plan that the criterion in either § 4204.13 (a)(1) or (a)(2) is satisfied, then the bond shall be cancelled or the amount in escrow shall be refunded. For purposes of considering a request after the bond or escrow is in place, the words “the year preceding the date of the variance request” shall be substituted for “the date of determination” for the first mention of that term in both § 4204.13 (a)(1) and (a)(2). In addition, in determining the purchaser's average net income after taxes under § 4204.13(a)(1), for any year included in the average for which the net income figure does not reflect the interest expense incurred with respect to the sale, the purchaser's net income shall be reduced by the amount of interest paid with respect to the sale in the fiscal year following the date of determination.
(c)Information required. A request for a variance shall contain financial or other information that is sufficient to establish that one of the criteria in § 4204.12 or § 4204.13(a) is satisfied. A request on the basis of either § 4204.13 (a)(1) or (a)(2) shall also include a copy of the purchaser's audited (if available) or (if not) unaudited financial statements for the specified time period.
(d)Limited exemption during pendency of request. Provided that all of the information required to be submitted is submitted before the first day of the first plan year beginning after the sale, a plan may not, pending its decision on the variance, require a purchaser to post a bond or place an amount in escrow pursuant to section 4204(a)(1)(B). In the event a bond or escrow is not in place pursuant to the preceding sentence, and the plan determines that the request does not qualify for a variance, the purchaser shall comply with section 4204(a)(1)(B) within 30 days after the date on which it receives notice of the plan's decision.
(e)Method and date of issuance. The PBGC applies the rules in subpart B of part 4000 of this chapter to determine permissible methods of issuance under this subpart. The PBGC applies the rules in subpart C of part 4000 of this chapter to determine the date that an issuance under this subpart was provided.