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Notice

Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations; PTE 86-128

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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). 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 concerning the proposed extension of a currently approved collection of information, Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 86-128 for certain transactions involving employee benefit plans and securities broker-dealers.

A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addresses section of this notice.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the ADDRESSES section below on or before June 6, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments regarding the collection of information. Send comments to Mr. Gerald B. Lindrew, Office of Policy and Research, U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N-5647, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (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 86-128 permits persons who serve as fiduciaries for employee benefit plans to effect or execute securities transactions on behalf of employee benefit plans. The exemption also allows sponsors of pooled separate accounts and other pooled investment funds to use their affiliates to effect or execute securities transactions for such accounts in order to recapture brokerage commissions for benefit of employee benefit plans whose assets are maintained in pooled separate accounts managed by the insurance companies. This exemption provides relief from certain prohibitions in section 406(b) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and from the taxes imposed by section 4975(a) and (b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code) by reason of Code section 4975(c)(1)(E) or (F).

In order to insure that the exemption is not abused, that the rights of participants and beneficiaries are protected, and that the exemption's conditions are being complied with, the Department has included in the exemption five information collection requirements. The first requirement is written authorization executed in advance by an independent fiduciary of the plan whose assets are involved in the transaction with the broker-fiduciary. The second requirement is, within three months of the authorization, the broker-fiduciary furnish the independent fiduciary with any reasonably available information necessary for the independent fiduciary to determine whether an authorization should be made. The information must include a copy of the exemption, a form for termination, and a description of the broker-fiduciary's brokerage placement practices. The third requirement is that the broker-fiduciary must provide a termination form to the independent fiduciary annually so that the independent fiduciary may terminate the authorization without penalty to the plan; failure to return the form constitutes continuing authorization. The fourth requirement is for the broker-fiduciary to report all transactions to the independent fiduciary, either by confirmation slips or through quarterly reports. The fifth requirement calls for the broker-fiduciary to provide an annual summary of the transactions. The annual summary must contain all security transaction-related charges incurred by the plan, the brokerage placement practices, and a portfolio turnover ratio.

II. Review Focus

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 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 Department is requesting an extension of the currently approved ICR pertaining to Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 86-128 for certain transactions involving employee benefit plans and securities broker-dealers. The Department is not proposing or implementing changes to the existing ICR at this time.

Agency: Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Title: PTE 86-128 for Certain Transactions Involving Employee Benefit Plans and Securities Broker-Dealers.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

OMB Numbers: 1210-0059.

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

Total Respondents: 4,200.

Total Responses: 284,000.

Frequency of Response: Quarterly; Annually.

Total Annual Burden: 93,530 hours.

Total Annual Cost (Operating & Maintenance): $183,550.

Comments submitted in response to this request will be summarized and/or Start Printed Page 17476included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: March 31, 2005.

Gerald B. Lindrew,

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

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[FR Doc. 05-6751 Filed 4-5-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-29-P