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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Employee Retirement Income Security Act Prohibited Transaction Exemption 86-128

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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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ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Employee Benefits Security Administration sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, “Employee Retirement Income Security Act Prohibited Transaction Exemption 86-128,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for continued use in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et s eq.).

DATES:

Submit comments on or before October 31, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained from the RegInfo.gov Web site, http://www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain, on the day following publication of this notice or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or sending an e-mail to DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov.

Submit comments about this request to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, Telephone: 202-395-6929/Fax: 202-395-6881 (these are not toll-free numbers), e-mail: OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Contact Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or by e-mail at DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 86-128 permits persons who serve as fiduciaries for employee benefit plans to effect or execute securities transactions on behalf of employee benefit plans. The exemption also allows sponsors of pooled separate accounts and other pooled investment funds to use their affiliates to effect or execute securities transactions for such accounts in order to recapture brokerage commissions for the benefit of employee benefit plans whose assets are maintained in pooled separate accounts managed by insurance companies. This exemption provides relief from certain prohibitions in Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) section 406(b) and from the taxes imposed by Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code) section 4975(a) and (b) by reason of Code section 4975(c)(1)(E) or (F).

In order to insure that the exemption is not abused, that the rights of participants and beneficiaries are protected, and that the exemption's conditions are being complied with, the class exemption imposes the following information collection requirements on fiduciaries of employee benefit plans that effect or execute securities transactions (broker-dealers) and the independent plan fiduciary authorizing the plan to engage in the transactions with the broker-dealer (authorizing fiduciary) under the conditions contained in the exemption: (1) The authorizing plan fiduciary must provide the broker-dealer with an advance written authorization for the transactions; (2) the broker-dealer must provide the authorizing fiduciary with information necessary to determine whether an authorization should be made, including a copy of the exemption, a form for termination, a description of the broker-dealer's brokerage placement practices, and any other reasonably available information regarding the matter that the authorizing fiduciary requests; (3) the broker-dealer must provide the authorizing fiduciary with an annual termination form, at least annually, explaining that the authorization is terminable at will, without penalty to the plan, and that failure to return the form will result in continued authorization for the broker-dealer to engage in securities transactions on behalf of the plan; (4) the broker-dealer must provide the authorizing fiduciary with either (a) a conformation slip for each individual securities transaction within 10 days of the transaction containing the information described in Rule 10b-10(a)(1-7) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 17 CFR 240.10b-10 or (b) a quarterly report containing certain financial information including the total of all transaction-related charges incurred by the plan; (5) the broker-dealer must provide the authorizing fiduciary with an annual summary of the confirmation slips or quarterly reports, containing all security transaction-related charges, the brokerage placement practices, and a portfolio turnover ratio; and (6) a Start Printed Page 60532broker-dealer who is a discretionary plan trustee must provide the authorizing fiduciary with an annual report showing separately the commissions paid to affiliated brokers and non-affiliated brokers, on both a total dollar basis and a cents-per-share basis. These requirements are designed as appropriate safeguards to ensure the protection of the plan assets involved in the transactions, which, in the absence of the class exemption, would not be permitted. These safeguards rely on the prior authorization and monitoring of the broker-fiduciary's activities by a second plan fiduciary that is independent of the first.

This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if the collection of information does not display a valid OMB Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under OMB Control Number 1210-0059. The current OMB approval is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2011; however, it should be noted that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. For additional information, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2011 (76 FR 30199).

Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should reference OMB Control Number 1210-0059. The OMB 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., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Title of Collection: Employee Retirement Income Security Act Prohibited Transaction Exemption 86-128.

OMB Control Number: 1210-0059.

Affected Public: Private Sector—Businesses or other for-profits and not-for-profit institutions.

Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 27,900.

Total Estimated Number of Responses: 1,199,880.

Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 63,800.

Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $736,800.

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Dated: September 22, 2011.

Michel Smyth,

Departmental Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2011-25044 Filed 9-28-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-29-P