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PBGC premium when one alternate payee is the only head left to count


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The instructions for the PBGC premium payments say that alternate payees are not included in the participant count.

From what I read in the code and ERISA, an alternate payee is defined as someone subject to a domestic relations order.  Not specifically a QDRO.

Therefore, I suspect that for my 2021 filing, where the only benefit left to go as of 12/31/20 was for an alternate payee whose QDRO was signed by the judge in January, there's no participant count at all.  (Actual participant took his 50% earlier in 2020.)  I wasn't sure if the January date "qualifying" the order might mean the sponsor has to pay 1/12 of a head-count charge. 

But since the domestic relations order really came about first in 2006 (it was signed by a judge then but incorrectly designed/worded - not sure who reviewed it - and never corrected until the past year with the payment pending upon plan termination), I think the sponsor has no premium due at all.  (Obviously no VRP since all benefits have been completely paid now.)

Sound correct?  I'm also thinking my participant count was 0 at year end 2020 and then as the BOY count on what will be their final 2021 Form 5500-SF filing as soon as the residual $40 in trust assets is liquidated and applied to administrative fees.

Thanks.

-bri

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My take on this that for the PBGC purposes, you have 1 person with benefits as of 12/31/2020. Instruction says that "Beneficiaries and alternate payees are not counted as Participants.  However, a deceased Participant will continue to be counted as a Participant if there are one or more beneficiaries or alternate payees who are receiving or have a right to receive benefits earned by the Participant."

I would apply the same logic. The cashed out participant is not in the plan, but as of 12/31/2020 there is one alternate payee who has a right to receive benefits earned by the participant.

I will not count this alternate payee for the 5500 purposes.

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