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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of FOIA Services, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-2736.


Rule 18f-3.

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (“Paperwork Reduction Act”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“the Commission”) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) a request for extension of the previously approved collection of information discussed below.

Rule 18f-3 (17 CFR 270.18f-3) under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.) exempts from section 18(f)(1) a fund that issues multiple classes of shares representing interests in the same portfolio of securities (a “multiple class fund”) if the fund satisfies the conditions of the rule. In general, each class must differ in its arrangement for shareholder services or distribution or both, and must pay the related expenses of that different arrangement. The rule includes one requirement for the collection of information. A multiple class fund must prepare, and fund directors must approve, a written plan setting forth the separate arrangement and expense allocation of each class, and any related conversion features or exchange privileges (“rule 18f-3 plan”). Approval of the plan must occur before the fund issues any shares of multiple classes and whenever the fund materially amends the plan. In approving the plan, the fund board, including a majority of the independent directors, must determine that the plan is in the best interests of each class and the fund as a whole.

The requirement that the fund prepare and directors approve a written rule 18f-3 plan is intended to ensure that the fund compiles information relevant to Start Printed Page 60265the fairness of the separate arrangement and expense allocation for each class, and that directors review and approve the information. Without a blueprint that highlights material differences among classes, directors might not perceive potential conflicts of interests when they determine whether the plan is in the best interests of each class and the fund. In addition, the plan may be useful to Commission staff in reviewing the fund's compliance with the rule.

Based on an analysis of fund filings, the Commission estimates that there are approximately 7,743 multiple class funds offered by 1,045 registrants. The Commission estimates that each of the 1,045 registrants will make an average of 0.5 responses annually to prepare and approve a written 18f-3 plan.[1] The Commission estimates each response will take 6 hours, requiring a total of 3 hours per registrant per year.[2] Thus the total annual hour burden associated with these requirements of the rule is approximately 3,135 hours.[3]

Estimates of the average burden hours are made solely for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act and are not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the costs of Commission rules and forms. The collection of information under rule 18f-3 is mandatory. The information provided under rule 18f-3 will not be kept confidential. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

The public may view the background documentation for this information collection at the following website, Comments should be directed to: (i) Desk Officer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10102, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, or by sending an email to:; and (ii) Pamela Dyson, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Remi Pavlik-Simon, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549 or send an email to: Comments must be submitted to OMB within 30 days of this notice.

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Dated: December 14, 2017.

Eduardo A. Aleman,

Assistant Secretary.

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1.  The Commission estimates that each registrant prepares and approves a rule 18f-3 plan every two years when issuing a new fund or new class or amending a plan (or that 522.5 of all 1,045 registrants prepare and approve a plan each year).

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2.  0.5 responses per registrant × 6 hours per response = 3 hours per registrant.

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3.  3 hours per registrant per year × 1,045 registrants = 3,135 hours per year.

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[FR Doc. 2017-27313 Filed 12-18-17; 8:45 am]