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Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Comment Request; Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 94-20, Foreign Exchange Transactions

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Employee Benefit Security Administration, DOL.




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 the Department can properly assess the impact of its information collection requirements on respondents and minimize the reporting burden (time and financial resources) on the public and that the public can understand the Department's collection instruments and provide the requested data in the desired format. Currently, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments on the proposed extension of the information collection provisions of Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption (PTE) 94-20, Foreign Exchange Transactions. A copy of the information collection request (ICR) may be obtained by contacting the office listed in the Addresses section of this notice.


Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the ADDRESSES section below on or before June 13, 2006.


Direct all written comments to Susan G. Lahne, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N-5718, Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693-8410, FAX (202) 219-4745 (the foregoing are not toll-free numbers). Comments may also be submitted electronically to the following Internet e-mail address:

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I. Background

PTE 94-20 permits the purchase and sale of foreign currencies between an employee benefit plan and a bank, broker-dealer, or an affiliate thereof, that is a trustee, custodian, fiduciary, or other party in interest with respect to the plan. The exemption is available provided that the transaction is directed (within the meaning of section IV(e) of the exemption) by a plan fiduciary that is independent of the bank, broker-dealer, or affiliate and all other conditions of the exemption are satisfied. Without this exemption, certain aspects of these transactions might be prohibited by section 406(a) of ERISA. To protect the interests of participants and beneficiaries of the employee benefit plan, the exemption requires that the party wishing to take advantage of the exemption (1) develop written policies and procedures applicable to trading in foreign currencies on behalf of an employee benefit plan; (2) provide a written confirmation with respect to each transaction in foreign currency to the independent plan fiduciary, disclosing specified information; and (3) maintain records pertaining to the transaction for a period of six years. This ICR relates to the foregoing disclosure and recordkeeping requirements.

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 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., by permitting electronic submission of responses.

III. Current Action

This notice requests comments on the extension of the ICR included in PTE 94-20. The Department is not proposing or implementing changes to the existing ICR at this time. The following summarizes the ICR and the current burden estimates:

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

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. Start Printed Page 19547

Titles: Foreign Exchange Transactions; PTCE 94-20.

OMB Number: 1210-0085.

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

Respondents: 239.

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Responses: 1,195.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 100.

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

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Dated:April 10, 2006.

Susan G. Lahne,

Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

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[FR Doc. E6-5568 Filed 4-13-06; 8:45 am]