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

Start Preamble March 29, 2006.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted the following public information collection request (ICR) 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 this 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:

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.

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; Start Printed Page 16832
  • 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: Definition of Plan Assets—Participant Contributions.

OMB Number: 1210-0100.

Frequency: On occasion.

Type of Response: Reporting and Third party disclosure.

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

Number of Respondents: 1.

Number of Annual Responses: 251.

Estimated Time Per Respondent: Ranges from 1 hour clerical time to prepare a notice for the Secretary of Labor to 4 hours of an attorney's time prepare the notice to plan participants and the certification for the Secretary of Labor.

Total Burden Hours: 1.

Total Annualized capital/startup costs: $0.

Total Annual Costs (operating/maintaining systems or purchasing services): $1,007.

Description: The Department of Labor's (the Department's) regulation at 29 CFR 2510.3-102 states that monies that a participant pays to, or has withheld by, an employer for contribution to an employee benefit plan become “plan assets” for purposes of Title I of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the related prohibited transaction provisions of the Internal Revenue Code as of the earliest date on which such monies can be reasonably segregated from the employer's general assets. With respect to employee pension benefit plans, the regulation further sets a maximum time limit for such contributions: the 15th business day following the end of the month in which the participant contribution amounts are received or withheld by the employer. Under ERISA, “plan assets” cannot be held by the employer as part of its general assets, but must be contributed to the employee benefit plan to which they belong and, with few exceptions, held in trust.

The regulation includes a procedure through which an employer receiving or withholding participant contributions for an employee pension benefit plan may obtain a 10-business-day extension of the 15-day maximum time period if certain requirements, including information collection requirements, are met. The regulation requires, among other things, that the employer provide written notice to plan participants, within 5 business days after the end of the extension period and the employer's transfer of the contributions to the plan, that the employer elected to take the extension for that month. The notice must explain why the employer could not transfer the participant contributions within the maximum time period, state that the participant contributions in question have in fact been transmitted to the plan, and provide the date on which this was done. The employer must also provide a copy of the participant notice to the Secretary, along with a certification that the notice was distributed to participants and that the other requirements under the extension procedure were met, within 5 business days after the end of the extension period.

The information collections imposed under the regulation include third-party disclosures and disclosures to the government. The information collection is intended to protect participants by ensuring that they and the Department are aware of an employer's failure to meet the regulatory time limits for transferring participant contributions to the employee pension benefit plan they are intended to fund. The Department and the affected participants can then take appropriate action to protect the plan assets. Requiring employers to make the disclosures also ensures that they follow the protective requirements that are part of the extension procedure.

Start Signature

Ira L Mills,

Departmental Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E6-4852 Filed 4-3-06; 8:45 am]