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Employee Benefits Security Administration Issues Questions and Answers on Prohibited Transactions and Exemptions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has issued questions and answers to help trustees of multiemployer benefit plans better understand how to avoid prohibited transactions in common leasing arrangements.  A multiemployer plan is an employee benefit plan maintained pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement between more than one employer, usually within the same or related industries, and a labor union.

The questions and answers describe arrangements in which a multiemployer plan leases office space or classroom space to or from a sponsoring union or other party who has a relationship to the plan and the prohibited transaction rules that are violated by those arrangements. Also addressed are the administrative and statutory exemptions that may apply with an analysis of the specific prohibited transaction provisions that are covered by each exemption.

The questions and answers also describe the consequences to a plan fiduciary if a leasing arrangement is prohibited but does not qualify for an exemption.

The questions and answers are available at

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
October 13, 2011
Release Number