A significant piece of guidance from this Notice pertains to the timing of the application of the special rules for the first plan year beginning after August 31, 2008 and the filing of the Form 5500 (including Schedule MB) for that year. For a calendar year plan year, the special funding relief rules could be applied retroactive to the 2009 plan year. However, the Form 5500 filing deadlines (October 15, 2010 for calendar plan years, with extension) may come before the IRS is able to issue more detailed guidance on how the special rules should be applied. According to this Notice, a plan sponsor will not be precluded from electing to apply the special rules for the applicable plan year if the Form 5500 has already been filed for that year. The IRS will issue future guidance on the reporting requirements for plans that elect to apply funding relief to a plan year after the Form 5500 has been filed for that year.
The Notice also states that the IRS expects to issue future guidance on the Pension Relief Act of 2010, which may include guidance on the following:
- The determination of the portion of the experience gain or loss attributable to the “net investment losses” incurred during either or both of the first two plan years ending after August 31, 2008.
- The requirement to notify participants and beneficiaries of the application of the special funding relief rules.
- The effect of the application of the special rules on a plan’s certification status, including certifications that may have already been made
* * * UPDATE * * *
On November 26, 2010, the IRS released guidance on the Pension Relief Act of 2010 in the form of Notice 2010-83. Now available for download is a HORIZON BULLETIN summarizing the provisions of the Pension Relief Act of 2010 affecting multiemployer plans, reflecting the guidance provided by Notice 2010-83.