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Notice

Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Comment Request ERISA Advisory Opinion Procedure 76-1

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

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) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps to ensure that the data the Department gathers can be provided in the desired format, that the reporting burden on the public (time and financial resources) is minimized, that the public understands the Department's collection instruments, and that the Department can accurately assess the impact of collection requirements on respondents.

Currently, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments concerning an extension of the information collection provisions incorporated in ERISA Advisory Opinion Procedure 76-1. A copy of the information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the office shown in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the ADDRESSES section of this notice on or before March 30, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments regarding the information collection request and burden estimates to: G. Christopher Cosby, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693-8410, FAX (202) 693-4745 (these are not toll-free numbers). Comments may also be submitted electronically to ebsa.opr@dol.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 as amended, (ERISA), the Secretary of Labor is responsible for administration and enforcement of reporting, disclosure, fiduciary, and other standards established for pension and welfare benefit plans. These responsibilities have been delegated within the Department to EBSA. ERISA Advisory Opinion Procedure 76-1 describes the administrative procedures through which the public may request a written interpretation of ERISA from EBSA to resolve issues arising out of specific actual transactions or circumstances. The procedure is designed to promote efficient handling of such inquiries and to facilitate prompt responses. The Procedure requires requesters seeking advisory opinions or information letters to submit certain information that EBSA has determined is essential for determining the nature of a request for interpretation and EBSA's response. EBSA has previously submitted the information collection provisions of Advisory Opinion Procedure 76-1 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review in an ICR and received approval from OMB under OMB Control No. 1210-0066. The current ICR approval is scheduled to expire on May 31, 2009.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

The Department of Labor (Department) is particularly interested in comments that:Start Printed Page 4981

  • Evaluate whether the 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 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 submissions of responses.

III. Current Action

This notice requests comments on an extension of the information collection provisions included in ERISA Advisory Opinion Procedure 76-1. The Department is not proposing or implementing changes to the existing ICR at this time. A summary of the ICR and the current burden estimates follows:

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

Title: ERISA Advisory Opinion Procedure 76-1.

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

OMB Number: 1210-0066.

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

Respondents: 83.

Responses: 83.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 855.

Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $51,000.

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

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Dated: January 22, 2009.

Joseph S. Piacentini,

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

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[FR Doc. E9-1787 Filed 1-27-09; 8:45 am]

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