Accrued benefit. For purposes of section 411 and the regulations thereunder, the term accrued benefit means
(1) Defined benefit plan. In the case of a defined benefit plan—
(i) If the plan provides an accrued benefit in the form of an annual benefit commencing at normal retirement age, such accrued benefit, or
(ii) If the plan does not provide an accured benefit in the form described in subdivision (i) of this subparagraph, an annual benefit commencing at normal retirement age which is the actuarial equivalent (determined under section 411(c)(3) and § 1.411(c)–(5) of the accrued benefit determined under the plan. In general, the term “accrued benefits” refers only to pension or retirement benefits. Consequently, accrued benefits do not include ancillary benefits not directly related to retirement benefits such as payment of medical expenses (or insurance premiums for such expenses), disability benefits not in excess of the qualified disability benefit (see section 411(a)(9) and paragraph (c)(3) of this section), life insurance benefits payable as a lump sum, incidental death benefits, current life insurance protection, or medical benefits described in section 401(h). For purposes of this paragraph a subsidized early retirement benefit which is provided by a plan is not taken into account, except to the extent of determining the normal retirement benefit under the plan (see section 411(a)(9) and paragraph (c) of this section). The accrued benefit includes any optional settlement at normal retirement age under actuarial assumptions no less favorable than those which would be applied if the employee were terminating his employment at normal retirement age. The accrued benefit does not include any subsidized value in a joint and survivor annuity to the extent that the annual benefit of the joint and survivor annuity does not exceed the annual benefit of a single life annuity.
(2) Defined contribution plan. In the case of a defined contribution plan, the balance of the employee's account held under the plan.
(b) Normal retirement age—(1) General rule. For the purposes of section 411 and the regulations thereunder, the term “normal retirement age” means the earlier of—
(i) The time specified by a plan at which a plan participant attains normal retirement age, or
(ii) The later of—
(A) The time the plan participant attains age 65, or
(B) The 10th anniversary of the date the plan participant commences participation in the plan.
(2) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph are illustrated by the following examples:
(c) Normal retirement benefit—(1) In general. For purposes of section 411 and the regulations thereunder, the term “normal retirement benefit” means the periodic benefit under the plan commencing upon early retirement (if any) or at normal retirement age, whichever benefit is greater.
(2) Periodic benefit. For purposes of subparagraph (1) of this paragraph—
(i) In the case of a plan under which a benefit is payable as an annuity in the same form upon early retirement and at normal retirement age, the greater benefit is determined by comparing the amount of such annuity payments.
(ii) In the case of a plan under which an annuity benefit payable upon early retirement is not in the same form as an annuity benefit payable at normal retirement age, the greater benefit is determined by converting the annuity benefit payable upon early retirement age into the same form of annuity benefit as is payable at normal retirement age and by comparing the amount of the converted early retirement benefit payment with the amount of the normal retirement benefit payment.
(iii) In the case of a plan which is integrated with the Social Security Act or any other Federal or State law, the periodic benefit payable upon and after early retirement age is adjusted for any increases in such benefits occurring on or after early retirement age which are taken into account under the plan. See however, section 401(a)(15) and the regulations thereunder.
(3) Benefits included. For purposes of this paragraph, the normal retirement benefit under a plan shall be determined without regard to ancillary benefits not directly related to retirement benefits such as medical benefits or disability benefits not in excess of the qualified disability benefit; see section 411(a)(7) and paragraph (a)(1) of this section. For this purpose, a qualified disability benefit is a disability benefit which is not in excess of the amount of the benefit which would be payable to the participant if he separated from service at normal retirement age.
(4) Early retirement benefit; social security supplement.
(i) For purposes of this paragraph, the early retirement benefit under a plan shall be determined without regard to any social security supplement.
(ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, a social security supplement is a benefit for plan participants which—
(A) Commences before the age and terminates before the age when participants are entitled to old-age insurance benefits, unreduced on account of age, under title II of the Social Security Act, as amended (see section 202 (a) and (g) of such Act), and
(B) Does not exceed such old-age insurance benefit.
(5) Special limitation. If a defined benefit plan bases its normal retirement benefits on employee compensation, the compensation must reflect the compensation which would have been paid for a full year of participation within the meaning of section 411(b)(3). If an employee works less than a full year of participation, the compensation used to determine benefits under the plan for such year of participation must be multiplied by the ratio of the number of hours for a complete year of participation to the number of hours worked in such year. A plan whose benefit formula is computed on a computation base which cannot decrease is not required to adjust employee compensation in the manner described in the previous sentence. Thus, for example, if a plan provided a benefit based on an employee's compensation for his highest five consecutive years or a separate benefit for each year of participation based on the employee's compensation for such year the plan would not have to so adjust compensation. However, if a plan provided a benefit based on an employee's compensation for the employee's last five years or the five highest consecutive years out of the last 10 years, the compensation, would have to be so adjusted. For special rules for applying the limitations on proration of a year of participation for benefit accrual, see regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Labor under 29 CFR Part 2530, relating to minimum standards for employee pension benefit plans.
(6) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph are illustrated by the following examples: