By: Russ Kamp, Managing Director, Ryan ALM, Inc.
We’ve entered a new period for the ARPA/SFA process. As we mentioned previously, effective March 11, the non-Priority plans were permitted to either Lock-in an application’s details and/or place the plan’s name on the waiting list for submission once the PBGC e-filing portal is re-opened. As of last Friday, 14 plans have elected to Lock-in the valuation date (all chose December 31, 2022) and 12 of those are also on the waiting list to file an application. A plan that intends to submit a Lock-in application or intent to file a Lock-in application request isn’t automatically added to the waitlist. This action must be done by emailing the PBGC at SFA@PBGC.gov. There were 88 multiemployer plans that asked to be added to the waiting list in addition to the 12 plans that have intended to file a Lock-in application while also asking to be placed on the waiting list.
Plans that were among the Priority Groups (1-6, although there were no 4s) that haven’t filed yet are not given priority should they decide to file now. The only exception is if the application is filed as an emergency application. According to the PBGC, “Plans that are insolvent or expected to be insolvent within 1 year of an application and plans that have suspended benefits under MPRA as of March 11, 2021, retain the ability to submit emergency filings (see § 4262.10(f)).”
The PBGC “will provide updates of the intended date the e-Filing portal will be re-opened and will provide advance notice to the plans at the top of the waiting list that will be allowed to apply at that time. Once notified, a plan will have seven calendar days from the date the e-Filing portal is opened to submit a complete application. If the plan’s application is not submitted within this time, the plan’s spot on the waiting list will be forfeited and the plan will need to submit a new email request to SFA@pbgc.gov to be placed at the end of the waiting list.”
The chart above reflected the PBGC’s expectations of possible SFA applications. There may still be roughly 218 applications submitted by non-Priority Group plans, but I’ve updated the chart (see below) reflecting the actual number of plans currently on the waiting list as of March 17, 2023.
We’ll continue to provide our readers with weekly updates regarding ARPA/SFA. Importantly, plans that are at the end of the waitlist are not going to be disadvantaged. The following is from the PBGC’s Q&A on its website: “The statute and PBGC’s regulation define the amount of SFA each eligible plan may receive, but the law does not cap the overall amount of SFA that PBGC may pay.”