Agency information collection activities: Proposed collection; comment request,

 
CONTENT

[Federal Register: June 23, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 120)]

[Notices]

[Page 34194-34195]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr23jn98-70]

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration

Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

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 other 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) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension of a currently approved collection of information, Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 86-128 for certain transactions involving employee benefit plans and securities broker-dealers. A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addressee section of this notice.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addressee section below on or before August 24, 1998. The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which:

‹bullet› 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;

‹bullet› 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;

‹bullet› Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

‹bullet› 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.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties are invited to submit written comments regarding the collection of information of any or all of the Agencies. Send comments to Mr. Gerald B. Lindrew, Office of Policy and Research, U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room N-5647, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 219-4782 (this is not a toll-free number).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

  1. Background

    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 benefit of employee benefit plans whose assets are maintained in pooled separate accounts managed by the insurance companies. In the absence of the exemption, certain aspects of these transactions might be prohibited by section 406(b) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and from the taxes imposed by section 4975(a) and (b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code) by reason of Code section 4975(c)(1)(E) or (F).

  2. Current Actions

    The Office of Management and Budget's approval of this ICR will expire on September 30, 1998. This existing collection of information should be continued because without the relief provided by this exemption, broker-fiduciaries who provide research and investment management services to accounts for which they also effect transactions for the purchase or sale of

    [[Page 34195]]

    securities, may be barred by ERISA from providing these combined services to employee benefit plans. Without this exemption, these sales could not continue, causing disruption of the existing business practices of plans and the businesses that service them.

    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 Department has included in the exemption two information collection requirements. The first requirement is to provide the independent fiduciary with either confirmation slips for each individual transaction or to provide quarterly reports. In the quarterly report the broker-fiduciary must provide certain financial information including the total of all transaction related charges incurred by the plan. The second requirement calls for the annual reporting of transaction charges incurred by the plan as the amount of such charges paid to other persons. Furthermore, the annual report must contain some measure of portfolio turnover.

    Agency: Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration.

    Title: Class Exemption 86-128 for Certain Transactions Involving Employee Benefit Plans and Securities Broker-Dealers.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    OMB Numbers: 1210-0059.

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

    Total Respondents: 163,562.

    Average Time Per Response: 10 minutes to 15 minutes.

    Total Responses: 286,232.

    Frequency of Response: Quarterly; Annually.

    Total Annual Burden: 64,743 hours.

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

    Dated: June 18, 1998. Gerald B. Lindrew, Deputy Director, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, Office of Policy and Research.

    [FR Doc. 98-16644Filed6-22-98; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4510-29-M