The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cedarbaum, J.
This is a motion to withdraw the reference to the Bankruptcy Court (Gropper, J.) of an adversary proceeding brought by reorganized debtor Oneida Ltd. against Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ("PBGC"). Oneida seeks a declaration from the Bankruptcy Court that certain premiums payable to PBGC under the terms of a federal statute are pre-petition claims that were discharged upon Oneida's emergence from bankruptcy. PBGC moves, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 157(d), to withdraw the reference to the Bankruptcy Court, on the ground that the decision will require consideration of both Title 11 and other federal law. For the following reasons, PBGC's motion is denied.
PBGC is the federal agency established by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") to administer the nation's pension termination insurance program. 29 U.S.C. § 1302. When a pension plan covered by ERISA is terminated without sufficient assets to pay all of its promised benefits, PBGC typically becomes trustee of the plan and pays participants their benefits. PBGC funds these payments in part from annual premiums required by ERISA from sponsors of defined pension plans. 29 U.S.C. § 1307.
In 2006, facing a severe deficit in PBGC's funds, Congress passed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which, among other things, amended ERISA to add a premium (the "DRA Premium") to be paid by companies that terminate covered pension plans (the "ERISA Amendment"). 29 U.S.C. § 1306(a)(7). The ERISA Amendment includes a provision that applies specifically to plans terminated by companies that have filed for bankruptcy. It reads, in relevant part:
If there is a termination of a single-employer plan under clause (ii) or (iii) of section 1341(c)(2)(B) of this title or section 1342 of this title, there shall be payable to [PBGC], with respect to each applicable 12-month period, a premium at a rate equal to $1,250 multiplied by the number of individuals who were participants in the plan immediately before the termination date. Such premium shall be in addition to any other premium under this section.
(B) Special Rule for Plans Terminated in Bankruptcy Reorganization
In the case of a single-employer plan terminated under section 1341(c)(2)(B)(ii) of this title or under section 1342 of this title during pendency of any bankruptcy reorganization proceeding under chapter 11 of title 11, or under any similar law of a State or a political subdivision of a State (or a case described in section 1341(c)(2)(B)(i) of this title filed by or against such person has been converted, as of such date, to such a case in which reorganization is sought), subparagraph (A) shall not apply to such plan until the date of the discharge or dismissal of such person in such case.
(C) Applicable 12-Month Period
For purpose of subparagraph (A)--(i) In general The term "applicable 12-month period" means
(I) the 12-month period beginning with the first month following the month in which the termination date occurs, and
(II) each of the first two 12-month periods immediately following the period described in subclause (I).
(ii) Plans terminated in bankruptcy reorganization In any case in which the requirements of subparagraph (B) are met in connection with the termination of the plan with respect to 1 or more persons described in such subparagraph, the 12-month period described in clause (i)(I) shall be the 12-month period beginning with the first month following the month which includes the earliest date as of which each ...