The PBGC is also waiving some penalties and extending some deadlines for plan administrators and contributing sponsors, as well as other “designated persons.”
The agency has issued guidance about what’s being done in the disaster area consisting of Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Wharton counties.
Altogether, more than 10,000 payments are transmitted by the PBGC to retirees and beneficiaries in the areas affected, with approximately 700 of those payments made by mail.
As a result, PBGC is monitoring service disruption alerts issued by the U.S. Postal Service to track potential problems with retirees and beneficiaries receiving checks.
Retirees and beneficiaries can sign up for direct deposit or contact the PBGC to change an address or request a replacement check at MyPBA (My Pension Benefit Account), by phone at 800-400-7242 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The agency points out that the IRS has already issued its own guidance, in the form of TX-2017-09, and provided relief in filing extensions for Form 5500 series returns as well as in overcoming impediments to obtain information or other assistance needed to meet the deadline “from a service provider, bank, or other person whose operations are directly affected by the severe storms and flooding from Hurricane Harvey.”
Pension professionals, the agency says, should check Disaster Relief Announcement 17-09, but if they find their situation is not covered by the announcement they should contact the PBGC directly as soon as possible.
Deadline relief is available for premium filings, single-employer plan terminations, distress terminations, filing of reportable event notices, annual employer reporting, requests for reconsideration or appeals and multiemployer plan deadlines.
In addition, there are procedures in place for claiming disaster relief and relief may be granted on a case-by-case basis for events not covered by the announcement.