US Department of Labor will hold hearing on proposed amendment to the Qualified Professional Asset Manager Exemption
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration today announced that it will hold an online public hearing on the proposed amendment to its Class Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-14, also known as the Qualified Professional Asset Manager Exemption. The department is also extending the public comment period for the proposed amendment for an additional 15 days, through Oct. 11, 2022, which will be supplemented by a subsequent comment period beginning in mid-November.
The proposed amendment contained a 60-day comment period, which was scheduled to expire on Sept. 26, 2022. After publishing the proposal, the department received a letter from several interested persons requesting the department extend the comment period to provide additional time for them to develop and submit their comments.
“After carefully considering the extension request, the department decided that it is appropriate to extend the public comment period for the proposed amendment and schedule a virtual public hearing,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Ali Khawar. “The extended comment period, hearing, and supplemental comment period will provide interested parties with a full opportunity to consider the proposal and provide important input that will inform our next steps.”
The Federal Register published the proposed amendment on July 27, 2022. The amendment would provide important protections for plans and individual retirement account owners by clarifying that the exemption’s ineligibility provision applies to foreign convictions, including additional types of serious misconduct in the ineligibility provision, providing a one-year period for plans and IRA owners to conduct an orderly wind-down if they chose to terminate their relationship with an ineligible QPAM, and updating the asset management and equity thresholds in the definition of “Qualified Professional Asset Manager.”
An online public hearing on the proposed amendment will be held on Nov. 17, 2022, at 9 a.m. EDT. To testify at the hearing, submit a request to the department by Oct. 11, 2022. If necessary, the department will continue the hearing on Nov. 18, 2022, at 9 a.m EDT.
In connection with the hearing, the department will reopen the comment period for the proposed amendment on Nov. 17, 2022. This supplemental comment period will close approximately 14 days after the department publishes the hearing transcript on EBSA’s web page, which is expected to provide interested parties with at least an additional 30 days to comment on the proposed amendment. The department will publish another Federal Register notice announcing when the transcript is posted and the supplemental comment period closes.
The department encourages plan representatives and other interested parties to submit comments on the proposed amendment during the extended and supplemental public comment periods, and to participate in the virtual public hearing.