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Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment; Final Rule on Default Investments Under Participant Directed Individual Account Plans

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Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.




The Department of Labor (the Department), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA 95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. The Employee Benefits Security Administration is soliciting comments on the proposed extension of the information collection provisions of its regulation relating to default investment alternatives (29 CFR 2550.404c-5). A copy of the information collection request (ICR) may be obtained by contacting the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. ICRs also are available at (​public/​do/​PRAMain).


Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the Addresses section on or before October 22, 2010.


G. Christopher Cosby, Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693-8410, FAX (202) 693-4745 (these are not toll-free numbers).

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I. Background

Section 404(c) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) states that participants or beneficiaries who can hold individual accounts under their pension plans, and who can exercise control over the assets in their accounts “as determined in regulations of the Secretary [of Labor]” will not be treated as fiduciaries of the plan. Moreover, no other plan fiduciary will be liable for any loss, or by reason of any breach, resulting from the participants' or beneficiaries' exercise of control over their individual account assets.

The Pension Protection Act (PPA), Public Law No. 109-280, amended ERISA section 404(c) by adding subparagraph (c)(5)(A). The new subparagraph says that a participant in an individual account plan who fails to make investment elections regarding his or her account assets will nevertheless be treated as having exercised control over those assets so long as the plan Start Printed Page 51844provides appropriate notice (as specified) and invests the assets “in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary [of Labor].” Section 404(c)(5)(A) further requires the Department of Labor (Department) to issue corresponding final regulations within six months after enactment of the PPA. The PPA was signed into law on August 17, 2006.

The Department of Labor issued a final regulation under ERISA section 404(c)(5)(A) offering guidance on the types of investment vehicles that plans may choose as their “qualified default investment alternative” (QDIA). The regulation also outlines two information collections. First, it implements the statutory requirement that plans provide annual notices to participants and beneficiaries whose account assets could be invested in a QDIA. Second, the regulation requires plans to pass certain pertinent materials they receive relating to a QDIA to those participants and beneficiaries with assets invested in the QDIA as well to provide certain information on request. The ICRs are approved under OMB Control Number 1210-0132, which is scheduled to expire on October 31, 2010.

II. Current Actions.

This notice requests public comment pertaining to the Department's request for extension of OMB approval of the information collection contained in its final rule at 29 CFR 2550.404c-5. After considering comments received in response to this notice, the Department intends to submit an ICR to OMB for continuing approval. No change to the existing ICRs is proposed or made at this time. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. A summary of the ICR and the current burden estimates follows:

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

Title: Default Investment Alternatives under Individual Account Plans.

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

OMB Number: 1210-0132.

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

Respondents: 1,700.

Responses: 66,991,403.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 795,219.

Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $24,711,418.

III. Focus of Comments

The Department of Labor (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 submissions of responses.

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

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Dated: August 17, 2010.

Michael L. Davis,

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2010-20799 Filed 8-20-10; 8:45 am]