|Code Section||Effective Date||Name of Act||Name of Provision||10yr Revenue Estimate ($millions)|
|420||7/6/2012||Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Centruy Act||Transfer of excess pension assets||354|
Transfer of excess pension assets
Explanation of Provision
Extension of existing provisions
The Act allows qualified transfers, qualified future transfers, and collectively bargained transfers to retiree medical accounts to be made through December 31, 2021. No transfers are permitted after that date.
Transfers to fund retiree group-term life insurance permitted
The Act allows qualified transfers, qualified future transfers, and collectively bargained transfers to be made to fund the purchase of retiree group-term life insurance. The assets transferred for the purchase of group-term life insurance must be maintained in a separate account within the plan (‘‘retiree life insurance account’’), which must be separate both from the assets in the retiree medical account and from the other assets in the defined benefit plan.
Under the Act, the general rule that the cost of group-term life insurance coverage provided under a defined benefit plan is includable in gross income of the participant does not apply to groupterm life insurance provided through a retiree life insurance account. Instead, the general rule for determining the amount of employer-provided group-term life insurance that is includible in gross income applies. However, group-term life insurance coverage is permitted to be provided through a retiree life insurance account only to the extent that it is not includible in gross income. Thus, generally, only group-term life insurance not in excess of $50,000 may be purchased with such transferred assets.
Generally, the present law rules for transfers of excess pension assets to retiree medical accounts to fund retiree health benefits also apply to transfers to retiree life insurance accounts to fund retiree group-term life. However, generally, the rules are applied separately. Thus, for example, the one-transfer-a-year rule generally applies separately to transfers to retiree life insurance accounts and transfers to retiree medical accounts. Further, the maintenance of effort requirement for qualified transfers applies separately to life insurance benefits and health benefits. Similarly, for qualified future transfers and collectively bargained transfers for retiree group-term life insurance, the maintenance of effort and other special rules are applied separately to transfers to retiree life insurance accounts and retiree medical accounts.
Reflecting the inherent differences between life insurance coverage and health coverage, certain rules are not applied to transfers to retiree life insurance accounts, such as the special rules allowing the employer to elect to the determine the applicable employer cost for health coverage during the cost maintenance period separately for retirees eligible for Medicare and retirees not eligible for Medicare. However, a separate test is allowed for the cost of retiree group-term life insurance for retirees under age 65 and those retirees who have reached age 65.
The Act makes other technical and conforming changes to the rules for transfers to fund retiree health benefits and removes certain obsolete (‘‘deadwood’’) rules. The same sunset applicable to qualified transfers, qualified future transfers, and collectively bargained transfers to retiree medical accounts applies to transfers to retiree life insurance accounts (i.e., no transfers can be made after December 31, 2021).