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Notice

Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations; Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 98-54

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor (Department), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA 95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed.

Currently, the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension of the information collection provisions of Prohibited Transaction Exemption 98-54 (PTE 98-54). A copy of the Information Collection Request (ICR) may be obtained by contacting the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the ADDRESSES section below on or before September 11, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Gerald B. Lindrew, Office of Policy and Research, U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N-5647, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 219-4782; Fax: (202) 219-4745. These are not toll-free numbers.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

PTE 98-54 permits certain foreign exchange transactions between employee benefit plans and certain banks, broker-dealers, and domestic affiliates thereof, which are parties in interest with respect to such plans, pursuant to standing instructions. In the absence of an exemption, foreign exchange transactions pursuant to standing instructions would be prohibited under circumstances where the bank or broker-dealer is a party in interest or disqualified person with respect to the plan under the Employee Retirement Income Securities Act (ERISA) or the Internal Revenue Code (Code).

II. Desired Focus of Comments

The Department is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have a practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed 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 through 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.

III. Current Actions

The class exemption has five basic information collection requirements. The first requires the bank or broker-dealer to maintain written policies and procedures for handling foreign exchange transactions for plans for which it is a party in interest which ensure that the party acting for the bank or broker-dealer knows it is dealing with a plan. The second requires that the transactions are performed in accordance with a written authorization executed in advance by an independent fiduciary of the plan. The third requires that the bank or broker-dealer provides the authorizing fiduciary with a copy of its written policies and procedures for foreign exchange transactions involving income item conversions and de minimis purchase and sale transactions prior to the execution of a transaction. The fourth requires the bank or broker-dealer to furnish the authorizing fiduciary a written confirmation statement with respect to each covered transaction within five days of execution. The fifth requires that the bank or broker-dealer maintains records necessary for plan fiduciaries, participants, and the Department and Internal Revenue Service to determine whether the conditions of the exemption are being met for period of six years form the date of execution of a transaction.

This notice requests comments on the extension of the ICR included in the PTE 98-54. The Department is not proposing or implementing changes to the existing ICR at this time.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection of information.

Agency: Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, Department of Labor.

Titles: Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 98-54.

OMB Number: 1210-0111.

Affected Public: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

Respondents: 35.

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Responses: 8,400.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 4,200.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: July 9, 2001.

Gerald B. Lindrew,

Deputy Director, Office of Policy and Research, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration.

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[FR Doc. 01-17550 Filed 7-12-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-29-P