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Notice

Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Comment Request; Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 91-38, Bank Collective Investment Funds

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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). 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 (in both time and financial resources) on the public and that the public can clearly understand the Department's information collection instruments and can provide the requested data in the desired format. Currently, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments on a proposed extension of the information collection provisions of Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption (PTE) 91-38, Bank Collective Investment Funds. A copy of the Information Collection Request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the office listed in the Addresses section of this notice.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the Addresses section below on or before June 19, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all written comments to G. Christopher Cosby, 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: ebsa.opr@dol.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

PTE 91-38 provides an exemption from the prohibited transaction provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) for certain transactions between a bank collective investment fund and persons who are parties in interest with respect to an employee benefit plan. Without the exemption, sections 406 and 407(a) of ERISA and section 4975(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code may prohibit transactions between the collective investment fund (CIF) and a party in interest to one or more of the employee benefit plans participating in the collective investment fund. Under PTE 91-38, a collective investment fund generally may engage in transactions with parties in interest to a plan that invests in the fund as long as the plan's total investment in the fund does not exceed a specified percentage of the total assets of the fund. The PTE also contains more limited or differently defined relief for funds holding more than the specified percentage, for multiemployer plans, and for transactions involving employer securities and employer real property. In order to ensure that the rights of participants and beneficiaries are protected, and that bank collective investment funds can demonstrate compliance with the terms of the exemption, the Department requires a bank to maintain records regarding the exempted transactions and make them available for inspection to specified interested persons (including the Department and the Internal Revenue Service) on request for a period of six years.Start Printed Page 17989

EBSA previously submitted the information collection provisions of PTE 91-38 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review in an ICR that was approved under the OMB Control No. 1210-0083. The current approval is scheduled to expire on August 31, 2009.

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 a proposed extension of the ICR included in PTE 91-38. 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.

Title: Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 91-38; Exemption for Certain Transactions Involving Bank Collective Investment Funds.

OMB Number: 1210-0082.

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

Estimated Total Burden hours: 200.

Respondents: 1,200.

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Responses: 1,200.

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

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Dated: April 13, 2009.

Joseph S. Piacentini,

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

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[FR Doc. E9-8907 Filed 4-17-09; 8:45 am]

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