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Notice

Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment; Prohibited Transaction Exemption 88-59 Residential Mortgage Financing Arrangements Involving Employee Benefit Plans

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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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AGENCY:

Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor, 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). This program 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 Employee Benefits Security Administration is soliciting comments on the proposed extension of the information collection provisions of Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 88-59.

A copy of the information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the individual shown in the Addresses section of this notice.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the Addresses section on or before January 5, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Gerald B. Lindrew, Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693-8410, FAX (202) 693-4745 (these are not toll-free numbers).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 88-59 provides an exemption from prohibited transaction provisions of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and from certain taxes imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The exemption permits, under certain conditions, an employee benefit plan to provide mortgage financing to purchasers of residential dwelling units. The mortgage financing may be either by making or participating in loans directly to purchasers or by purchasing mortgage loans or participation interests in mortgage loans originated by a third party. Plan investments in real estate mortgage loans typically involve a continuing relationship between the seller of the mortgage loan and the plan for purposes of servicing the mortgage loan investment. This provision of services by the seller creates a party in interest relationship between such servicer and the investing plan. Accordingly, any subsequent purchase of mortgage loans from such existing party in interest service provider results in a prohibited transaction.

By requiring that records pertaining to the exempted transaction be maintained for the duration of any loan made pursuant to Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 88-59, this ICR insures that the exemption is not abused, the rights of the participants and beneficiaries are protected, and that compliance with the exemption's conditions can be confirmed. The exemption affects participants and beneficiaries of the plans that are involved in such transactions as well as the seller of the mortgage loan.

II. Review Focus

The Department of Labor (Department) is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary Start Printed Page 62621for 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 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 submissions of responses.

III. Current Actions

The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of this ICR will expire on January 31, 2004. After considering comments received in response to this notice, the Department intends to submit the ICR to OMB for continuing approval. No change to the existing ICR is proposed or made at this time.

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

Title: Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 88-59; Residential Mortgage Financing Arrangements.

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

OMB Number: 1210-0095.

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

Respondents: 420.

Responses: 2100.

Average Response Time: 5 minutes.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 175.

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: October 30, 2003.

Gerald B. Lindrew

Deputy Director, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

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[FR Doc. 03-27829 Filed 11-4-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-29-P