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PBGC Seeks to Revise Form 715 to Better Protect Against Fraud

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) plans to ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its approval of a revision to a form used in information collection that enables the PBGC to pay benefits to participants and beneficiaries.

The PBGC seeks to revise Form 715, the Power of Attorney Form. It believes these revisions would provide greater flexibility and greater protections against fraud. The revision would include:

Features previously unavailable — granting a durable power of attorney (DPOA) in addition to a nondurable power of attorney (NDPOA), and allowing a principal to name up to three agents to act on his or her behalf with the PBGC (and to designate whether the agents have independent or joint authority), whereas the current form only has room for one agent to be named.

Features that would protect the principal — heightened requirements for granting authority and for executing the document (i.e., the principal’s signature must be witnessed and notarized, and witnesses must meet certain criteria).

A “Notice to the Principal,” to alert the principal about what powers he or she is granting to a designated agent, and an “Agent’s Acknowledgement” to inform the agent about his or her duties and liabilities regarding handling the principal’s affairs.

Comments Welcome

The PBGC plans to seek public comments on these revisions. It plans to do so in order to:

  • evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

  • evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

  • enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and

  • minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.