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|DB Plan Sponsors Beware: Potential Liability Related to Facility Closings and Sales of Business Units|
Feb. 24, 2015
"[Recently revised ERISA] Section 4062(e) ... applies when an employer has a permanent cessation of operations at a facility that results in a reduction in the number of eligible employees equal to 15 percent of all eligible employees of the employer.... Because employees eligible for any employer pension plan (including defined contribution plans) rather than just the subject pension plan are [considered eligible], the denominator for determining the workforce reduction percentage is likely larger. Thus, even though the percentage has decreased [from 20% under prior law to 15% under current law], it may be harder to hit the percentage given the larger base of employees considered.... [Nevertheless,] the PBGC has lifted its enforcement moratorium. As a result, employers with Title IV plans who are contemplating a plant shutdown or selling a division that will result in a substantial cessation should take a close look at whether they will trigger Section 4062(e)."
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