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PBGC multiemployer merger assistance rules to come out Friday

Final rules clarifying the authority of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. to facilitate mergers of multiemployer pension plans will be published in the Federal Register on Friday, the agency said. The notice also will update general rules on multiemployer plan mergers and transfers.

Merger assistance is one of the few tools the PBGC has to help struggling multiemployer plans in a limited way, the agency said in a news release.

"Although we have limited resources to address the anticipated insolvencies of multiemployer plans, facilitated mergers under this final rule could help preserve retirement benefits for workers and retirees in some struggling multiemployer plans," PBGC Director W. Thomas Reeder said in a statement.

"Merged plans may save money from lower administration and investment expenses and provide greater stability by expanding the base of employers that contribute to the plan."

The PBGC's multiemployer program has a 90% chance of running out of money before the end of FY 2025, according to the agency's FY2017 projections report released in May.