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Rule

Investment Advice-Participants and Beneficiaries

Document Details

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.

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AGENCY:

Employee Benefits Security Administration, Labor.

ACTION:

Final rule; delay of effective date and applicability date.

SUMMARY:

This document delays the effective and applicability dates of final rules under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and parallel provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, relating to the provision of investment advice to participants and beneficiaries in individual account plans, such as 401(k) plans, and beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts (and certain similar plans). These rules were published in the Federal Register on January 21, 2009, and were to have become effective and applicable on March 23, 2009, but were delayed until May 22, 2009, by a final rule published on March 20, 2009 (74 FR 11847). This document further delays the effective and applicability dates of these final rules from May 22, 2009, until November 18, 2009, to allow additional time for the Department to evaluate questions of law and policy concerning the rules.

DATES:

The effective and applicability date of the rule amending 29 CFR part 2550, published January 21, 2009, at 74 FR 3822, delayed March 20, 2009, at 74 FR 11847 is further delayed until November 18, 2009.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Fred Wong, Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), (202) 693-8500. This is not a toll-free number.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On January 21, 2009, the Department of Labor published final rules on the Start Printed Page 23952provision of investment advice to participants and beneficiaries of participant-directed individual account plans and to beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts (74 FR 3822). The rules contain regulations implementing a statutory prohibited transaction exemption under ERISA Section 408(b)(14) and Section 408(g) and an administrative class exemption granting additional relief. As published, these rules were to be effective on March 23, 2009. Paragraph (g) of Section 2550.408g-1 provided that the rule would apply to covered transactions occurring on or after March 23, 2009.

By memorandum dated January 20, 2009, Rahm Emanuel, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, directed Agency Heads to consider extending for 60 days the effective date of regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect. The memorandum further advised that, where such regulations are extended, agencies should allow 30 days for interested persons to comment on issues of law and policy raised by the rules. In accordance with that memorandum, and taking into account the considerations listed in the Memorandum of January 21, 2009, from Peter R. Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Department published in the Federal Register on February 4, 2009, a document seeking comment on a proposed 60 day extension to the effective dates for these rules until May 22, 2009, and a proposed conforming amendment to the applicability date of Section 2550.408g-1 (74 FR 6007). The document also requested comment on issues of law and policy raised by the final rules. The Department indicated that upon completion of its review, it might decide to allow the rules to take effect, issue a further extension, withdraw the rules, or propose amendments. The comment period on the proposed extension ended on February 18, 2009. The comment period on issues of law and policy concerning the final rules ended on March 6, 2009. In response, the Department received 27 comment letters.[1] A number of these comments expressed the view that the final rules raise significant issues of law and policy. Among these, some expressed disagreement with the final rules' interpretation of the statutory exemption, and further questioned the adequacy of the class exemption's conditions in mitigating against the potential for investment adviser self-dealing.

On March 20, 2009, the Department published in the Federal Register a document adopting the proposed 60 day delay of the effective and applicability date of the final rule published on January 21, 2009, for agency review of questions of law and policy raised by commenters (74 FR 11847). The Department believes that the complexity and significance of the issues involved justify delaying the effective and applicability dates of the final rule for an additional 180 days in order to afford the Department time for further review. Accordingly, the Department is adopting herein a 180 day delay of the effective and applicability date of the final rule published on January 21, 2009. With the adoption of this delay, the effective and applicability dates of the final rule will be November 18, 2009.

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List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 2550

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For the reasons set forth above, the publication on January 21, 2009 (

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PART 2550—RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY

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1. The authority citation for part 2550 is revised to read as follows:

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Authority: 29 U.S.C. 1135; and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 6-2009, 74 FR 21524 (May 7, 2009). Secs. 2550.401b-1, 2550.408b-1, 2550.408b-19, 2550.408g-1, and 2550.408g-2 also issued under sec. 102, Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 5 U.S.C. App. Sec. 2550.401c-1 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1101. Sections 2550.404c-1 and 2550.404c-5 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1104. Sec. 2550.407c-3 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1107. Sec. 2550.404a-2 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 401 note (sec. 657(c)(2), Pub. L. 107-16, 115 Stat. 38, 136 (2001)). Sec. 2550.408b-1 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1108(b)(1). Sec. 2550.408b-19 also issued under sec. 611(g)(3), Public Law 109-280, 120 Stat. 780, 975 (2006).

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2. Section 2550.408g-1 is amended by removing the date “May 22, 2009” and adding in its place “November 18, 2009” in paragraph (g).

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Signed at Washington, DC, this 19th day of May 2009.

Alan D. Lebowitz,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program Operations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

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Footnotes

1.  These comments are available on the Department's Web site at: http://www.dol.gov/​ebsa/​regs/​cmt-investmentadvicefinalrule.html.

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[FR Doc. E9-12065 Filed 5-21-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-29-P