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Submission for OMB Review: Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble February 24, 2005.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted the following public information collection requests (ICRs) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35). A copy of each ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by contacting Darrin King on 202-693-4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or e-mail: king.darrin@dol.gov.

Comments should be sent to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, (202) 395-7316 (this is not a toll-free number), within 30 days from the date of this publication in the Federal Register. Start Printed Page 10684

The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

  • 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 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.

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection.

Title: Suspension of Pension Benefits Regulation Pursuant to 29 CFR 2530.203-3.

OMB Number: 1210-0048.

Frequency: On occasion.

Type of Response: Third party disclosure.

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

Number of Respondents: 49,900.

Number of Annual Responses: 128,054.

Estimated Time per Response: 20 minutes.

Total Burden Hours: 23,146.

Total Annualized capital/startup costs: $0.

Total Annual Costs (operating/maintaining systems or purchasing services): $51,222.

Description: Section 203(a)(3)(B) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) governs the circumstances under which pension plans may suspend pension benefit payments to retirees that return to work or to participants that continue to work beyond normal retirement age. Furthermore, section 203(a)(3)(B) of ERISA authorizes the Secretary to prescribe regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

In this regard, 29 CFR 2530.203-3 describes the circumstances and conditions under which plans may suspend the pension benefits of retirees that return to work, or of participants that continue to work beyond normal retirement age. In order for a plan to suspend benefits pursuant to the regulation, it must notify affected retirees or participants (by first class mail or personal delivery) during the first calendar month or payroll period in which the plan withholds payment, that benefits are suspended. This notice must include the specific reasons for such suspension, a general description of the plan provisions authorizing the suspension, a copy of the relevant plan provisions, and a statement indicating where the applicable regulations may be found, (i.e., 29 CFR 2530.203-3). In addition, the suspension notification must inform the retiree or participant of the plan's procedure for affording a review of the suspension of benefits.

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection.

Title: Class Exemption 77-4 for Certain Transactions between Investment Companies and Employee Benefit Plans.

OMB Number: 1210-0049.

Frequency: On occasion.

Type of Response: Third party disclosure.

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

Number of Respondents: 900.

Number of Annual Responses: 128,000.

Estimated Time per Response: 35 minutes.

Total Burden Hours: 11,117.

Total Annualized capital/startup costs: $0.

Total Annual Costs (operating/maintaining systems or purchasing services): $48,640.

Description: Without the relief provided by this exemption, an open-end mutual fund would be unable to sell shares to or purchase shares from a plan when the fiduciary with respect to the plan is also the investment advisor for the mutual fund. As a result, plans would be compelled to liquidate their existing investments involving such transactions and to amend their plan documents to establish new investment structures and policies.

In order to insure that the exemption is not abused and that the rights of participants and beneficiaries are protected, the Department has included in the exemption three basic disclosure requirements. The first requires at the time of the purchase or sale of such mutual fund shares that the plan's independent fiduciary receive a copy of the current prospectus issued by the open-end mutual fund and a full and detailed written statement of the investment advisory fees charges to or paid by the plan and the open-end mutual fund to the investment advisor. The second requires that the independent fiduciary approve in writing such purchases and sales. The third requires that the independent fiduciary, once notified of changes in the fees, re-approve in writing the purchase and sale of mutual fund shares.

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection.

Title: Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption T88-1.

OMB Number: 1210-0074.

Frequency: On occasion.

Type of Response: Recordkeeping and Third party disclosure.

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

Number of Respondents: 1.

Number of Annual Responses: 1.

Estimated Time per Response: N/A.

Total Burden Hours: 1.

Total Annualized capital/startup costs: $0.

Total Annual Costs (operating/maintaining systems or purchasing services): $0.

Description: Prohibited Transaction Exemption T88-1 adopts, for purposes of the prohibited transaction provisions of section 8477(c)(2) of the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986, certain prohibited transaction class exemptions granted pursuant to section 408(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The information collection requirements incorporated within this class exemption are intended to protect the interests of plan participants and beneficiaries and provide the Department with sufficient information to support a finding that the exemption meets the statutory standards of section 408(a) of ERISA. The burden for the information collection requirements associated with this exemption is already accounted for under other ERISA requirements.

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection.

Title: Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program.

OMB Number: 1210-0089.

Frequency: On occasion.

Type of Response: Reporting.

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

Number of Respondents: 4,105.

Number of Annual Responses: 4,105.

Estimated Time per Response: 30 minutes. Start Printed Page 10685

Total Burden Hours: 205.

Total Annualized capital/startup costs: $0.

Total Annual Costs (operating/maintaining systems or purchasing services): $132,181.

Description: Plan administrators who fail to file an annual report may be assessed a penalty of $300 per day, up to $30,000 per year, until a complete annual report is filed. Penalties are applicable to each annual report required to be filed under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

The Department may, in its discretion, waive all or part of a civil penalty assessed under ERISA section 502(c)(2) upon a showing by the administrator that there was reasonable cause for the failure to file a complete and timely annual report.

The Department has determined that the possible assessment of these civil penalties may deter certain delinquent filers from voluntarily complying with the annual reporting requirements under Title I of ERISA. In an effort to encourage annual reporting compliance, the Department implemented the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (the Program) on April 27, 1995 (60 FR 20873). Under the Program, administrators otherwise subject to the assessment of higher civil penalties are permitted to pay reduced civil penalties for voluntarily complying with the annual reporting requirements under Title I of ERISA.

This ICR covers the requirement of providing data necessary to identify the plan along with the penalty payment. This data is the means by which each penalty payment is associated with the appropriate plan.

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection.

Title: PTE 98-54 Relating to Certain Employee Benefit Plan Foreign Exchange Transactions Executed Pursuant to Standing Instructions.

OMB Number: 1210-0111.

Frequency: On occasion.

Type of Response: Recordkeeping and Third party disclosure.

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

Number of Respondents: 35.

Number of Annual Responses: 8,400.

Estimated Time per Response: 30 minutes.

Total Burden Hours: 4,200.

Total Annualized capital/startup costs: $0.

Total Annual Costs (operating/maintaining systems or purchasing services): $0.

Description: 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 of 1974 (ERISA) or the Internal Revenue Code.

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 from the date of execution of a transaction.

By requiring that records pertaining to the exempted transaction be maintained for six years, 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 certain banks, broker-dealers, and domestic affiliates thereof.

Start Signature

Ira L. Mills,

Departmental Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 05-4209 Filed 3-3-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-29-P