26 U.S. Code § 9706 - Assignment of eligible beneficiaries
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(a) In general
For purposes of this chapter, the Commissioner of Social Security shall, before October 1, 1993, assign each coal industry retiree who is an eligible beneficiary to a signatory operator which (or any related person with respect to which) remains in business in the following order:
(1) First, to the signatory operator which—
(2) Second, if the retiree is not assigned under paragraph (1), to the signatory operator which—
(b) Rules relating to employment and reassignment upon purchase
For purposes of subsection (a)—
(1) Aggregation rules
(A) Related person
Any employment of a coal industry retiree in the coal industry by a signatory operator shall be treated as employment by any related persons to such operator.
(2) Reassignment upon purchase
If a person becomes a successor of an assigned operator after the enactment date, the assigned operator may transfer the assignment of an eligible beneficiary under subsection (a) to such successor, and such successor shall be treated as the assigned operator with respect to such eligible beneficiary for purposes of this chapter. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the assigned operator transferring such assignment (and any related person) shall remain the guarantor of the benefits provided to the eligible beneficiary under this chapter. An assigned operator shall notify the trustees of the Combined Fund of any transfer described in this paragraph.
(c) Identification of eligible beneficiaries
The 1950 UMWA Benefit Plan and the 1974 UMWA Benefit Plan shall, by the later of October 1, 1992, or the twentieth day after the enactment date, provide to the Commissioner of Social Security a list of the names and social security account numbers of each eligible beneficiary, including each deceased eligible beneficiary if any other individual is an eligible beneficiary by reason of a relationship to such deceased eligible beneficiary. In addition, the plans shall provide, where ascertainable from plan records, the names of all persons described in subsection (a) with respect to any eligible beneficiary or deceased eligible beneficiary.
(d) Cooperation by other agencies and persons
The head of any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States shall cooperate fully and promptly with the Commissioner of Social Security in providing information which will enable the Commissioner to carry out his responsibilities under this section.
(2) Providing of information
(A) In general
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 6103, the head of any other agency, department, or instrumentality shall, upon receiving a written request from the Commissioner of Social Security in connection with this section, cause a search to be made of the files and records maintained by such agency, department, or instrumentality with a view to determining whether the information requested is contained in such files or records. The Commissioner shall be advised whether the search disclosed the information requested, and, if so, such information shall be promptly transmitted to the Commissioner, except that if the disclosure of any requested information would contravene national policy or security interests of the United States, or the confidentiality of census data, the information shall not be transmitted and the Commissioner shall be so advised.
The trustees of the Combined Fund, the 1950 UMWA Benefit Plan, the 1974 UMWA Benefit Plan, the 1950 UMWA Pension Plan, and the 1974 UMWA Pension Plan shall fully and promptly cooperate with the Commissioner in furnishing, or assisting the Commissioner to obtain, any information the Commissioner needs to carry out the Commissioner’s responsibilities under this section.
(e) Notice by Commissioner
(1) Notice to Fund
The Commissioner of Social Security shall advise the trustees of the Combined Fund of the name of each person identified under this section as an assigned operator, and the names and social security account numbers of eligible beneficiaries with respect to whom he is identified.
(f) Reconsideration by Commissioner
(1) In general
Any assigned operator receiving a notice under subsection (e)(2) with respect to an eligible beneficiary may, within 30 days of receipt of such notice, request from the Commissioner of Social Security detailed information as to the work history of the beneficiary and the basis of the assignment.
An assigned operator may, within 30 days of receipt of the information under paragraph (1), request review of the assignment. The Commissioner of Social Security shall conduct such review if the Commissioner finds the operator provided evidence with the request constituting a prima facie case of error.
(3) Results of review
If the Commissioner of Social Security determines under a review under paragraph (2) that an assignment was in error—
(i) the Commissioner shall notify the assigned operator and the trustees of the Combined Fund and the trustees shall reduce the premiums of the operator under section 9704 by (or if there are no such premiums, repay) all premiums paid under section 9704 with respect to the eligible beneficiary, and
Any determination by the Commissioner of Social Security under paragraph (2) or (3) shall be final.
(5) Payment pending review
An assigned operator shall pay the premiums under section 9704 pending review by the Commissioner of Social Security or by a court under this subsection.
(g) Confidentiality of information
Any person to which information is provided by the Commissioner of Social Security under this section shall not disclose such information except in any proceedings related to this section. Any civil or criminal penalty which is applicable to an unauthorized disclosure under section 6103 shall apply to any unauthorized disclosure under this section.
(h) Assignments as of October 1, 2007
(1) In general
Subject to the premium obligation set forth in paragraph (3), the Commissioner of Social Security shall—
(A) revoke all assignments to persons other than 1988 agreement operators for purposes of assessing premiums for plan years beginning on and after October 1, 2007; and
(2) Reassignment upon purchase
This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit the reassignment under subsection (b)(2) of an eligible beneficiary.
(3) Liability of persons during three fiscal years beginning on and after October 1, 2007
In the case of each of the fiscal years beginning on October 1, 2007, 2008, and 2009, each person other than a 1988 agreement operator shall pay to the Combined Fund the following percentage of the amount of annual premiums that such person would otherwise be required to pay under section 9704 (a), determined on the basis of assignments in effect without regard to the revocation of assignments under paragraph (1)(A):
Source(Added Pub. L. 102–486, title XIX, § 19143(a),Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3047; amended Pub. L. 103–296, title I, § 108(h)(9)(B),Aug. 15, 1994, 108 Stat. 1487; Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, § 212(a)(3),Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3025.)
For information regarding constitutionality of certain provisions of this section, as added by section 19143(a) ofPub. L. 102–486, see Congressional Research Service, The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, Appendix 1, Acts of Congress Held Unconstitutional in Whole or in Part by the Supreme Court of the United States.
2006—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 109–432added subsec. (h).
1994—Subsecs. (a), (c) to (g). Pub. L. 103–296substituted “Commissioner of Social Security” for “Secretary of Health and Human Services”, “Commissioner” for “Secretary”, and “Commissioner’s” for “Secretary’s”, wherever appearing in text.
Effective Date of 2006 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 109–432applicable to plan years of the Combined Fund beginning after Sept. 30, 2006, see section 212(a)(4) ofPub. L. 109–432, set out as a note under section 9704 of this title.
Effective Date of 1994 Amendment