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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

EBSA News Release: [08/30/2010]
Contact Name: Gloria Della
Phone Number: (202) 693-8664
Release Number: 10-1191-NAT

US Labor Department proposes amending procedures for filing and processing prohibited transaction exemptions under ERISA

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration today announced a proposed regulation to update the procedure for filing and processing applications for exemptions from the prohibited transaction provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The proposed regulation is published in the August 30 edition of the Federal Register.

The proposal, if adopted, would consolidate the existing policies and guidance on the exemption process. The amended procedures would also clarify the types of information and documentation required to submit a complete filing, expand the methods for transmitting filings to include electronic submissions, and make the exemptions more understandable for participants and other interested parties.

The proposed exemption procedure retains the section-by-section topical structure of the existing regulation. Among the proposed changes are:

  • A requirement that applicants provide interested persons with a brief objective summary of complex transactions.
  • The consolidation of exemption policies and guidance within a single document.
  • An updated description of the department's authority to propose and issue administrative exemptions on its own motion.
  • A description of the current standards for obtaining retroactive exemption relief.
  • Clarification of the content of specialized statements, as needed, from qualified independent appraisers and other relevant experts.

Written comments on the proposed exemption procedures should be received by the Department of Labor on or before Oct. 14, 2010, and should be addressed to the Office of Exemption Determinations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room N-5700, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington D.C. 20210, Attention: Prohibited Transaction Exemption Procedures Proposed Regulation.