(10) Special rules relating to age.— (A) Comparison to similarly situated younger individual.— (i) In general .— A plan shall not be treated as failing to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) if a participant’s accrued benefit, as determined as of any date under the terms of the plan, would be equal to or greater than that of any similarly situated, younger individual who is or could be a participant. (ii) Similarly situated .— For purposes of this subparagraph, a participant is similarly situated to any other individual if such participant is identical to such other individual in every respect (including period of service, compensation, position, date of hire, work history, and any other respect) except for age. (iii) Disregard of subsidized early retirement benefits .— In determining the accrued benefit as of any date for purposes of this clause, the subsidized portion of any early retirement benefit or retirement-type subsidy shall be disregarded. (iv) Accrued benefit .— For purposes of this subparagraph, the accrued benefit may, under the terms of the plan, be expressed as an annuity payable at normal retirement age, the balance of a hypothetical account, or the current value of the accumulated percentage of the employee’s final average compensation. (B) Applicable defined benefit plans.— (i) Interest credits.— (I) In general .— An applicable defined benefit plan shall be treated as failing to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) unless the terms of the plan provide that any interest credit (or an equivalent amount) for any plan year shall be at a rate which is not greater than a market rate of return. A plan shall not be treated as failing to meet the requirements of this subclause merely because the plan provides for a reasonable minimum guaranteed rate of return or for a rate of return that is equal to the greater of a fixed or variable rate of return. (II) Preservation of capital .— An interest credit (or an equivalent amount) of less than zero shall in no event result in the account balance or similar amount being less than the aggregate amount of contributions credited to the account. (III) Market rate of return .— The Secretary of the Treasury may provide by regulation for rules governing the calculation of a market rate of return for purposes of subclause (I) and for permissible methods of crediting interest to the account (including fixed or variable interest rates) resulting in effective rates of return meeting the requirements of subclause (I). In the case of a governmental plan (as defined in the first sentence of section 414(d) of title 26 ), a rate of return or a method of crediting interest established pursuant to any provision of Federal, State, or local law (including any administrative rule or policy adopted in accordance with any such law) shall be treated as a market rate of return for purposes of subclause (I) and a permissible method of crediting interest for purposes of meeting the requirements of subclause (I), except that this sentence shall only apply to a rate of return or method of crediting interest if such rate or method does not violate any other requirement of this chapter. (ii) Special rule for plan conversions .— If, after June 29, 2005 , an applicable plan amendment is adopted, the plan shall be treated as failing to meet the requirements of paragraph (1)(H) unless the requirements of clause (iii) are met with respect to each individual who was a participant in the plan immediately before the adoption of the amendment. (iii) Rate of benefit accrual .— Subject to clause (iv), the requirements of this clause are met with respect to any participant if the accrued benefit of the participant under the terms of the plan as in effect after the amendment is not less than the sum of— (I) the participant’s accrued benefit for years of service before the effective date of the amendment, determined under the terms of the plan as in effect before the amendment, plus (II) the participant’s accrued benefit for years of service after the effective date of the amendment, determined under the terms of the plan as in effect after the amendment. (iv) Special rules for early retirement subsidies .— For purposes of clause (iii)(I), the plan shall credit the accumulation account or similar amount with the amount of any early retirement benefit or retirement-type subsidy for the plan year in which the participant retires if, as of such time, the participant has met the age, years of service, and other requirements under the plan for entitlement to such benefit or subsidy. (v) Applicable plan amendment .— For purposes of this subparagraph— (I) In general .— The term “applicable plan amendment” means an amendment to a defined benefit plan which has the effect of converting the plan to an applicable defined benefit plan. (II) Special rule for coordinated benefits .— If the benefits of 2 or more defined benefit plans established or maintained by an employer are coordinated in such a manner as to have the effect of the adoption of an amendment described in subclause (I), the sponsor of the defined benefit plan or plans providing for such coordination shall be treated as having adopted such a plan amendment as of the date such coordination begins. (III) Multiple amendments .— The Secretary of the Treasury shall issue regulations to prevent the avoidance of the purposes of this subparagraph through the use of 2 or more plan amendments rather than a single amendment. (IV) Applicable defined benefit plan .— For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “applicable defined benefit plan” has the meaning given such term by section 1053(f)(3) of this title . (vi) Termination requirements .— An applicable defined benefit plan shall not be treated as meeting the requirements of clause (i) unless the plan provides that, upon the termination of the plan— (I) if the interest credit rate (or an equivalent amount) under the plan is a variable rate, the rate of interest used to determine accrued benefits under the plan shall be equal to the average of the rates of interest used under the plan during the 5-year period ending on the termination date, and (II) the interest rate and mortality table used to determine the amount of any benefit under the plan payable in the form of an annuity payable at normal retirement age shall be the rate and table specified under the plan for such purpose as of the termination date, except that if such interest rate is a variable rate, the interest rate shall be determined under the rules of subclause (I). (C) Certain offsets permitted .— A plan shall not be treated as failing to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) solely because the plan provides offsets against benefits under the plan to the extent such offsets are allowable in applying the requirements of section 401(a) of title 26 . (D) Permitted disparities in plan contributions or benefits .— A plan shall not be treated as failing to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) solely because the plan provides a disparity in contributions or benefits with respect to which the requirements of section 401(l) of title 26 are met. (E) Indexing permitted.— (i) In general .— A plan shall not be treated as failing to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) solely because the plan provides for indexing of accrued benefits under the plan. (ii) Protection against loss .— Except in the case of any benefit provided in the form of a variable annuity, clause (i) shall not apply with respect to any indexing which results in an accrued benefit less than the accrued benefit determined without regard to such indexing. (iii) Indexing .— For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “indexing” means, in connection with an accrued benefit, the periodic adjustment of the accrued benefit by means of the application of a recognized investment index or methodology. (F) Early retirement benefit or retirement-type subsidy .— For purposes of this paragraph, the terms “early retirement benefit” and “retirement-type subsidy” have the meaning given such terms in section 1054(g)(2)(A) of this title . 2 (G) Benefit accrued to date .— For purposes of this paragraph, any reference to the accrued benefit shall be a reference to such benefit accrued to date.