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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 June 29, 2006.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted the following public information collection requests (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 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.

The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary Start Printed Page 38664for 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: Bank Collective Investment Funds; Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 91-38.

OMB Number: 1210-0082.

Frequency: On occasion.

Type of Response: Recordkeeping.

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

Number of Respondents: 1,200.

Number of Annual Responses: 1,200.

Estimated Annual Time Per Respondent: 10 minutes.

Total Burden Hours: 200.

Total Annualized capital/startup costs: $0.

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

Description: Section 408(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) gives the Secretary of Labor the authority to “grant a conditional or unconditional exemption of any fiduciary or transaction, or class of fiduciaries or transactions, from all or part of the restrictions imposed by sections 406 and 407(a).” In order to grant an exemption under section 408, the Department must determine that the exemption is: (1) Administratively feasible; (2) in the interests of the plan and its participants and beneficiaries; and, (3) protective of the rights of the participants and beneficiaries of such plan.

Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978 (43 FR 47713, October 17, 1978, effective on December 31, 1978) transferred the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to issue exemptions under section 4975 of the Code, with certain enumerated exceptions, to the Secretary of Labor. As a result, the Secretary of Labor now possesses authority under section 4975(c)(2) of the Code as well as under 408(a) of ERISA to issue individual and class exemptions from the prohibited transaction rules of ERISA and the Code.

Section 406 of ERISA prohibits certain types of transactions between plans and related parties (called parties in interest), such as plan fiduciaries, sponsoring employers, unions, service providers and affiliates. In particular, under section 406, a fiduciary of a plan may not cause the plan to engage in a transaction involving plan assets (e.g., a sale, lease, loan, transfer, or furnishing of goods or services) with a party in interest or use the plan's assets for the benefit of a party in interest.

Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption (PTE) 90-1 provides an exemption from the restrictions of section 406, in part, for certain transactions between insurance company pooled separate accounts and parties in interest to plans that invest assets in the pooled separate accounts. The exemption provides a general exemption for any transaction between a party in interest with respect to a plan and an insurance company pooled separate account in which the plan has an interest (or any acquisition or holding by the pooled separate account of employer securities or employer real estate), provided that the party in interest is not the insurance company (or an affiliate of the insurance company) and that the amount of the plan's investment in the separate account does not exceed certain specified percentages (or that the separate account is a specialized account with a policy of investing substantially all of its assets in short-term obligations).

The class PTE also provides specific, additional exemptions for the following types of transactions with a party in interest: (1) Furnishing goods to an insurance company pooled separate account, (2) leasing of real property of the pooled separate account, (3) transactions involving persons who are parties in interest to a plan merely because they are service providers or provide nondiscretionary services to the plan; (4) the insurance company's provision of real property management services in connection with real property investments of the pooled separate account, and (5) furnishing of services, facilities and goods by a place of public accommodations owned by the separate account.

In addition to other specified conditions, the insurance company intending to rely on the general exemption or any of the specific exemptions must maintain records of the transactions to which the exemption applies for a period of six years and make the records available on request to specified interested persons (including plan fiduciaries, the Department, and the Internal Revenue Service). This information collection requirement is considered necessary in order to ensure that the exemption meets the standards of section 408.

This exemption requires recordkeeping, including disclosure of records on request to the Department and other interested persons. The Department believes that this information collection protects the interests of participants and beneficiaries in plans by enabling interested persons, including the Department, to verify that the conditions of the exemptions have been met.

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection.

Title: PTE 90-1; Insurance Company Pooled Separate Accounts.

OMB Number: 1210-0083.

Frequency: On occasion.

Type of Response: Recordkeeping.

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

Number of Respondents: 70.

Number of Annual Responses: 70.

Estimated Annual Time Per Respondent: 1.67 hours.

Total Burden Hours: 120.

Total Annualized capital/startup costs: $0.

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

Description: Section 408(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) gives the Secretary of Labor the authority to “grant a conditional or unconditional exemption of any fiduciary or transaction, or class of fiduciaries or transactions, from all or part of the restrictions imposed by sections 406 and 407(a).” In order to grant an exemption under section 408, the Department must determine that the exemption is: (1) Administratively feasible; (2) in the interests of the plan and its participants and beneficiaries; and, (3) protective of the rights of the participants and beneficiaries of such plan. Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978 (43 FR 47713, October 17, 1978, effective on December 31, 1978) transferred the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to issue exemptions under section 4975 of the Code, with certain enumerated exceptions, to the Secretary of Labor. As a result, the Secretary of Labor now possesses authority under section 4975(c)(2) of the Start Printed Page 38665Code as well as under 408(a) of ERISA to issue individual and class exemptions from the prohibited transaction rules of ERISA and the Code.

Section 406 of ERISA prohibits certain types of transactions between plans and related parties (called parties in interest), such as plan fiduciaries, sponsoring employers, unions, service providers and affiliates. In particular, under section 406, a fiduciary of a plan may not cause the plan to engage in a transaction involving plan assets (e.g., a sale, lease, loan, transfer, or furnishing of goods or services) with a party in interest or use the plan's assets for the benefit of a party in interest.

Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption (PTE) 90-1 provides an exemption from the restrictions of section 406, in part, for certain transactions between insurance company pooled separate accounts and parties in interest to plans that invest assets in the pooled separate accounts. The exemption provides a general exemption for any transaction between a party in interest with respect to a plan and an insurance company pooled separate account in which the plan has an interest (or any acquisition or holding by the pooled separate account of employer securities or employer real estate), provided that the party in interest is not the insurance company (or an affiliate of the insurance company) and that the amount of the plan's investment in the separate account does not exceed certain specified percentages (or that the separate account is a specialized account with a policy of investing substantially all of its assets in short-term obligations).

The class PTE also provides specific, additional exemptions for the following types of transactions with a party in interest: (1) Furnishing goods to an insurance company pooled separate account, (2) leasing of real property of the pooled separate account, (3) transactions involving persons who are parties in interest to a plan merely because they are service providers or provide nondiscretionary services to the plan; (4) the insurance company's provision of real property management services in connection with real property investments of the pooled separate account, and (5) furnishing of services, facilities and goods by a place of public accommodations owned by the separate account.

In addition to other specified conditions, the insurance company intending to rely on the general exemption or any of the specific exemptions must maintain records of the transactions to which the exemption applies for a period of 6 years and make the records available on request to specified interested persons (including plan fiduciaries, the Department, and the Internal Revenue Service). This information collection requirement is considered necessary in order to ensure that the exemption meets the standards of section 408.

This exemption requires recordkeeping, including disclosure of records on request to the Department and other interested persons. The Department believes that this information collection protects the interests of participants and beneficiaries in plans by enabling interested persons, including the Department, to verify that the conditions of the exemptions have been met.

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection.

Title: Foreign Exchange Transactions; Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 94-20.

OMB Number: 1210-0085.

Frequency: On occasion.

Type of Response: Recordkeeping and Third party disclosure.

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

Number of Respondents: 239.

Number of Annual Responses: 1,195.

Estimated Annual Time Per Respondent: 10 minutes.

Total Burden Hours: 200.

Total Annualized capital/startup costs: $0.

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

Description: Section 408(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) gives the Secretary of Labor the authority to “grant a conditional or unconditional exemption of any fiduciary or transaction, or class of fiduciaries or transactions, from all or part of the restrictions imposed by sections 406 and 407(a).” In order to grant an exemption under section 408, the Department must determine that the exemption is: (1) Administratively feasible; (2) in the interests of the plan and its participants and beneficiaries; and, (3) protective of the rights of the participants and beneficiaries of such plan.

Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978 (43 FR 47713, October 17, 1978, effective on December 31, 1978) transferred the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to issue exemptions under section 4975 of the Code, with certain enumerated exceptions, to the Secretary of Labor. As a result, the Secretary of Labor now possesses authority under section 4975(c)(2) of the Code as well as under 408(a) of ERISA to issue individual and class exemptions from the prohibited transaction rules of ERISA and the Code.

Section 406 of ERISA prohibits certain types of transactions between plans and related parties (called parties in interest), such as plan fiduciaries, sponsoring employers, unions, service providers and affiliates. In particular, under section 406, a fiduciary of a plan may not cause the plan to engage in a transaction involving plan assets (e.g., a sale, purchase, lease, loan, transfer, or furnishing of goods or services) with a party in interest or use the plan's assets for the benefit of a party in interest.

In 1994, in response to an application from the American Bankers Association, the Department adopted a prohibited transaction class exemption (PTE 94-20) permitting banks, broker-dealers, and their affiliates (hereinafter, respondent) that are parties in interest to a plan to engage in foreign currency transactions with the plan, provided the transaction is directed by a plan fiduciary independent of the respondent and that certain other conditions are satisfied. To protect the interests of participants and beneficiaries of the employee benefit plan, the exemption requires, among other things, that a respondent wishing to rely on the exemption (1) maintain written policies and procedures applicable to trading in foreign currencies with an employee benefit plan; (2) provide a written confirmation of each foreign currency transaction to the independent plan fiduciary directing the transaction; and (3) maintain records of the transactions for a period of six years and make them available upon request to specified interested persons, including plan fiduciaries, participants and beneficiaries, and the Department. This information collection request relates to the foregoing requirements.

The information collection requirements include recordkeeping, third party disclosure, and disclosure to the Department. These requirements enable the Department and other interested persons to monitor compliance with the conditions of the exemption. These conditions are necessary, as required under section 408(a) of ERISA, to ensure that respondents rely on the exemption only Start Printed Page 38666in the circumstances protective of plan participants and beneficiaries.

Start Signature

Ira L. Mills,

Departmental Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E6-10635 Filed 7-6-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-29-P