adjustable benefit

(8) Benefit adjustments (A) Adjustable benefits (i) In general Notwithstanding section 1054(g) of this title , the plan sponsor shall, subject to the notice requirements in subparagraph (C), make any reductions to adjustable benefits which the plan sponsor deems appropriate, based upon the outcome of collective bargaining over the schedule or schedules provided under paragraph (1)(B)(i). (ii) Exception for retirees Except in the case of adjustable benefits described in clause (iv)(III), the plan sponsor of a plan in critical status shall not reduce adjustable benefits of any participant or beneficiary whose benefit commencement date is before the date on which the plan provides notice to the participant or beneficiary under subsection (b)(3)(D) for the initial critical year. (iii) Plan sponsor flexibility The plan sponsor shall include in the schedules provided to the bargaining parties an allowance for funding the benefits of participants with respect to whom contributions are not currently required to be made, and shall reduce their benefits to the extent permitted under this subchapter and considered appropriate by the plan sponsor based on the plan’s then current overall funding status. (iv) Adjustable benefit defined For purposes of this paragraph, the term “adjustable benefit” means— (I) benefits, rights, and features under the plan, including post-retirement death benefits, 60-month guarantees, disability benefits not yet in pay status, and similar benefits, (II) any early retirement benefit or retirement-type subsidy (within the meaning of section 1054(g)(2)(A) of this title ) and any benefit payment option (other than the qualified joint and survivor annuity), and (III) benefit increases that would not be eligible for a guarantee under section 1322a of this title on the first day of initial critical year because the increases were adopted (or, if later, took effect) less than 60 months before such first day. (B) Normal retirement benefits protected Except as provided in subparagraph (A)(iv)(III), nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to permit a plan to reduce the level of a participant’s accrued benefit payable at normal retirement age. (C) Notice requirements (i) In general No reduction may be made to adjustable benefits under subparagraph (A) unless notice of such reduction has been given at least 30 days before the general effective date of such reduction for all participants and beneficiaries to— (I) plan participants and beneficiaries, (II) each employer who has an obligation to contribute (within the meaning of section 1392(a) of this title ) under the plan, and (III) each employee organization which, for purposes of collective bargaining, represents plan participants employed by such an employer. (ii) Content of notice The notice under clause (i) shall contain— (I) sufficient information to enable participants and beneficiaries to understand the effect of any reduction on their benefits, including an estimate (on an annual or monthly basis) of any affected adjustable benefit that a participant or beneficiary would otherwise have been eligible for as of the general effective date described in clause (i), and (II) information as to the rights and remedies of plan participants and beneficiaries as well as how to contact the Department of Labor for further information and assistance where appropriate. (iii) Form and manner Any notice under clause (i)— (I) shall be provided in a form and manner prescribed in regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary, (II) shall be written in a manner so as to be understood by the average plan participant, and (III) may be provided in written, electronic, or other appropriate form to the extent such form is reasonably accessible to persons to whom the notice is required to be provided. The Secretary of the Treasury shall in the regulations prescribed under subclause (I) establish a model notice that a plan sponsor may use to meet the requirements of this subparagraph.


29 USC § 1085(e)(8)

Scoping language

For purposes of this paragraph
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