Investment Advice-Participants and Beneficiaries, 6007-6008 [E9-2296]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 22 / Wednesday, February 4, 2009 / Proposed Rules rating organizations. Consequently, NCUA is considering curbing the extent to which a corporate may rely on credit ratings provided by Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSROs). Comment is requested on whether NCUA should require more than one rating for an investment, or require that the lowest rating meet the minimum rating requirements of Part 704. NCUA also solicits comment on whether to require additional stress modeling tools in the regulation to enhance credit risk management. Several specific aspects of this issue are under consideration, for which comment is solicited, including whether Part 704 should be revised to lessen the reliance on NRSRO ratings. Commenters are invited to identify any other changes they believe may be prudent to help assure adequate management of credit risk. In this respect, commenters should consider whether Part 704 should be revised to provide specific concentration limits, including sector and obligor limits. If so, what specific limits would be appropriate for corporate credit unions? Comments are also solicited on the question of whether corporates should be required to obtain independent evaluations of credit risk in their investment portfolios. If so, what would be appropriate standards for these contractors? Another issue under consideration is whether corporates should be required to test sensitivities to credit spread widening, and if so, what standards should apply to that effort. 5. Asset Liability Management In a previous version of its corporate rule, NCUA required corporate credit unions to perform net interest income modeling and stress testing. Because one of the problems leading to the current market dislocation is a widening of credit spreads, the agency is considering re-instating this requirement. Alternatively, the agency may consider some form of mandatory modeling and testing of credit spread increases. Comment is solicited on whether NCUA should require corporates to use monitoring tools to identify these types of trends, including specifically comments about tangible benefits, if any, that would flow from these types of modeling requirements. 6. Corporate Governance The sophistication and far-reaching impact of corporate activities requires a governing board with appropriate knowledge and expertise. NCUA is considering minimum standards for directors that would require a director VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:32 Feb 03, 2009 Jkt 217001 possess an appropriate level of experience and independence. The agency is also considering term limits, allowing compensation for corporate directors, and requiring greater transparency for executive compensation. Comment is sought on all these issues. In addition, commenters are invited to respond to the question of whether or not the current structure of retail and wholesale corporate credit union boards is appropriate given the corporate business model. Should NCUA establish more stringent minimum qualifications and training requirements for individuals serving as corporate credit union directors? If so, what should the minimum qualifications be? NCUA is also considering whether to establish a category of ‘‘outside director,’’ i.e., persons who are not officers of that corporate, officers of member natural person credit unions, and/or individuals from entirely outside the credit union industry. Commenters should offer their view on whether that approach is wise, and, if so whether NCUA should require that corporates select some minimum number of outside directors for their boards. Should a wholesale corporate credit union be required to have some directors from natural person credit unions? Comment is sought on whether NCUA should impose term limits on corporate directors, and, if so, what the maximum term should be. Comment is also sought on whether corporate directors should be compensated, and, if so, whether such compensation should be limited to outside directors only. Another issue under consideration, for which reaction from commenters is sought, is whether NCUA should allow members of corporate credit unions greater access to salary and benefit information for senior management. Request for Comments The NCUA Board invites comment on any of the issues discussed above including specifically if NCUA’s regulations should be amended to address the issues discussed in this ANPR. NCUA also welcomes comment on any other relevant issues pertaining to corporate credit unions that have not been addressed in this ANPR. By the National Credit Union Administration Board on January 28, 2009. Mary F. Rupp, Secretary of the Board. [FR Doc. E9–2292 Filed 2–3–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 6007 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration 29 CFR 2550 RIN 1210–AB13 Investment Advice—Participants and Beneficiaries AGENCY: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice of proposed extension of effective date and applicability date; request for public comments on legal and policy questions relating to the final rule. SUMMARY: Consistent with the memorandum of January 20, 2009, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled ‘‘Regulatory Review,’’ this document proposes to extend for 60 days the effective and applicability dates of final rules under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and parallel provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, relating to the provision of investment advice to participants and beneficiaries in individual account plans, such as 401(k) plans, and beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts (and certain similar plans). These rules were published in the Federal Register on January 21, 2009. Extending the effective date would allow the Department of Labor to evaluate comments on questions of law and policy concerning the rules. Thus, this document also seeks comments generally on the rules and on the merits of rescinding, modifying or retaining the rules. DATES: Comments on the proposal to extend the effective and applicability date should be submitted to the Department on or before February 18, 2009. Comments on the provisions of 29 CFR 2550.408g–1 and 2550.408g–2 should be submitted to the Department on or before March 6, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Wong, Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), (202) 693–8500. This is not a toll-free number. ADDRESSES: To facilitate the receipt and processing of comment letters, EBSA encourages interested persons to submit their comments electronically by e-mail to e-ORI@dol.gov (enter into subject line: Investment Advice Final Rule) or by using the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Persons submitting comments electronically are encouraged not to submit paper copies. Persons interested in submitting paper E:\FR\FM\04FEP1.SGM 04FEP1 6008 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 22 / Wednesday, February 4, 2009 / Proposed Rules copies should send or deliver their comments to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Investment Advice Final Rule, Room N– 5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. All comments will be available to the public, without charge, online at http://www.regulations.gov and http://www.dol.gov/ebsa and at the Public Disclosure Room, N–1513, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 21, 2009, the Department of Labor published final rules on the provision of investment advice to participants and beneficiaries of participant-directed individual account plans and to beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts (74 FR 3822). The rules contain regulations implementing a statutory prohibited transaction exemption under ERISA § 408(b)(14) and § 408(g) and an administrative class exemption granting additional relief. As published, these rules were to be effective on March 23, 2009. Paragraph (g) of § 2550.408g–1 provided that the rule would apply to covered transactions occurring on or after March 23, 2009. By memorandum dated January 20, 2009, Rahm Emanuel, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, directed Agency Heads to consider extending for 60 days the effective date of regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect. The memorandum further advised that, where such regulations are extended, agencies should allow 30 days for interested persons to comment on issues of law and policy raised by the rules. In accordance with that memorandum, and taking into account the considerations listed in the Memorandum of January 21, 2009, from Peter R. Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Department is proposing to extend the effective date for these rules until May 22, 2009, and to make a conforming amendment to the applicability date of § 2550.408g–1. Extending the effective date for 60 days will allow the public to comment on whether the rules raise significant policy and legal issues and for the Department to review these comments and the rules before the relief granted by the rules becomes available. The exemptive relief granted by the rules would serve little purpose if the Department were to withdraw or amend the rules after plans and investment VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:32 Feb 03, 2009 Jkt 217001 advisers had implemented procedures and incurred expenses in order to make use of the exemptive relief. The Department solicits comments on the proposal to extend the effective and applicability dates for 60 days. For this purpose, the comment period will end on February 18, 2009. At the same time, the Department also solicits comments on issues of law and policy concerning all the provisions of these rules. The purpose of these comments is to assist the Department in its review of these rules. Upon completion of this review, the Department may decide to allow the rules to take effect, issue a further extension, withdraw the rules, or propose amendments. The Department requests comments on each of these possible outcomes. The comment period for this broader purpose will end on March 6, 2009. 1978 Comp. p. 332, effective Dec. 31, 1978, 44 FR 1065 (Jan. 3, 1978), and 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. 332. Sec. 2550.412–1 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1112. List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 2550 Employee benefit plans, Exemptions, Fiduciaries, Investments, Pensions, Prohibited transactions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and Securities. For the reasons set forth above, the publication on January 21, 2009 (73 FR 3822), of the final rule amending 29 CFR Part 2550, is proposed to be further amended as follows: [EPA–HQ–OECA–2009–0006; FRL–8766–1] PART 2550—RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY 1. The authority citation for part 2550 is revised to read as follows: Authority: 29 U.S.C. 1135; and Secretary of Labor’s Order No. 1–2003, 68 FR 5374 (Feb. 3, 2003). Sec. 2550.401b–1 also issued under sec. 102, Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 43 FR 47713 (Oct. 17, 1978), 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. 332, effective Dec. 31, 1978, 44 FR 1065 (Jan. 3, 1978), 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. 332. Sec. 2550.401c–1 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1101. Sections 2550.404c–1 and 2550.404c– 5 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1104. Sec. 2550.407c–3 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1107. Sec. 2550.404a–2 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 401 note (sec. 657, Pub. L. 107–16, 115 Stat. 38). Sec. 2550.408b–1 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1108(b)(1) and sec. 102, Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 332, effective Dec. 31, 1978, 44 FR 1065 (Jan. 3, 1978), and 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. 332. Sec. 2550.408b–19 also issued under sec. 611, Public Law 109–280, 120 Stat. 780, 972, and sec. 102, Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 332, effective Dec. 31, 1978, 44 FR 1065 (Jan. 3, 1978), and 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. 332. Sec. 2550.408g–1 also issued under sec. 102, Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 332, effective Dec. 31, 1978, 44 FR 1065 (Jan. 3, 1978), and 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. 332. Sec. 2550.408g–2 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1108(g) and sec. 102, Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 3 CFR, PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 2. Section 2550.408g–1 is amended by removing the date ‘‘March 23, 2009’’ and adding in its place ‘‘May 22, 2009’’ in paragraph (g). Signed at Washington, DC, this 29th day of January, 2009. Alan D. Lebowitz, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program Operations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. [FR Doc. E9–2296 Filed 2–3–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–29–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 6 RIN 2020–AA48 Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act and Assessing the Environmental Effects Abroad of EPA Actions AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: EPA is proposing to correct its rule entitled ‘‘Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act and Assessing the Effects Abroad of EPA Actions,’’ which was published September 19, 2007. Since the final rule became effective on October 19, 2007, EPA has received inquiries about some minor inconsistencies and ambiguities in the final rule. This action involves four minor, technical corrections to the rule to address those issues. The first correction expands the definition of ‘‘applicants’’ to include those who request EPA approvals. The second change clarifies that a categorical exclusion includes vacant land. The third change corrects the text to indicate that the number of extraordinary circumstances is ten. The last change expands Subpart C to apply to EPA approvals as well as permits and assistance grants. In the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of this Federal Register, we have made these four changes as a direct final rule without a prior proposed rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. DATES: Any comments must be received by March 6, 2009. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. [EPA–HQ– E:\FR\FM\04FEP1.SGM 04FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 22 (Wednesday, February 4, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 6007-6008]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-2296]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employee Benefits Security Administration

29 CFR 2550

RIN 1210-AB13


Investment Advice--Participants and Beneficiaries

AGENCY: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice of proposed extension of effective date and 
applicability date; request for public comments on legal and policy 
questions relating to the final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Consistent with the memorandum of January 20, 2009, from the 
Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled ``Regulatory 
Review,'' this document proposes to extend for 60 days the effective 
and applicability dates of final rules under the Employee Retirement 
Income Security Act, and parallel provisions of the Internal Revenue 
Code of 1986, relating to the provision of investment advice to 
participants and beneficiaries in individual account plans, such as 
401(k) plans, and beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts (and 
certain similar plans). These rules were published in the Federal 
Register on January 21, 2009. Extending the effective date would allow 
the Department of Labor to evaluate comments on questions of law and 
policy concerning the rules. Thus, this document also seeks comments 
generally on the rules and on the merits of rescinding, modifying or 
retaining the rules.

DATES: Comments on the proposal to extend the effective and 
applicability date should be submitted to the Department on or before 
February 18, 2009. Comments on the provisions of 29 CFR 2550.408g-1 and 
2550.408g-2 should be submitted to the Department on or before March 6, 
2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Wong, Office of Regulations and 
Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), 
(202) 693-8500. This is not a toll-free number.

ADDRESSES: To facilitate the receipt and processing of comment letters, 
EBSA encourages interested persons to submit their comments 
electronically by e-mail to e-ORI@dol.gov (enter into subject line: 
Investment Advice Final Rule) or by using the Federal eRulemaking 
portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Persons submitting comments 
electronically are encouraged not to submit paper copies. Persons 
interested in submitting paper

[[Page 6008]]

copies should send or deliver their comments to the Office of 
Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security 
Administration, Attn: Investment Advice Final Rule, Room N-5655, U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210. All comments will be available to the public, without charge, 
online at http://www.regulations.gov and http://www.dol.gov/ebsa and at 
the Public Disclosure Room, N-1513, Employee Benefits Security 
Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20210.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 21, 2009, the Department of Labor 
published final rules on the provision of investment advice to 
participants and beneficiaries of participant-directed individual 
account plans and to beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts 
(74 FR 3822). The rules contain regulations implementing a statutory 
prohibited transaction exemption under ERISA Sec.  408(b)(14) and Sec.  
408(g) and an administrative class exemption granting additional 
relief. As published, these rules were to be effective on March 23, 
2009. Paragraph (g) of Sec.  2550.408g-1 provided that the rule would 
apply to covered transactions occurring on or after March 23, 2009.
    By memorandum dated January 20, 2009, Rahm Emanuel, Assistant to 
the President and Chief of Staff, directed Agency Heads to consider 
extending for 60 days the effective date of regulations that have been 
published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect. The 
memorandum further advised that, where such regulations are extended, 
agencies should allow 30 days for interested persons to comment on 
issues of law and policy raised by the rules. In accordance with that 
memorandum, and taking into account the considerations listed in the 
Memorandum of January 21, 2009, from Peter R. Orszag, Director of the 
Office of Management and Budget, the Department is proposing to extend 
the effective date for these rules until May 22, 2009, and to make a 
conforming amendment to the applicability date of Sec.  2550.408g-1.
    Extending the effective date for 60 days will allow the public to 
comment on whether the rules raise significant policy and legal issues 
and for the Department to review these comments and the rules before 
the relief granted by the rules becomes available. The exemptive relief 
granted by the rules would serve little purpose if the Department were 
to withdraw or amend the rules after plans and investment advisers had 
implemented procedures and incurred expenses in order to make use of 
the exemptive relief.
    The Department solicits comments on the proposal to extend the 
effective and applicability dates for 60 days. For this purpose, the 
comment period will end on February 18, 2009. At the same time, the 
Department also solicits comments on issues of law and policy 
concerning all the provisions of these rules. The purpose of these 
comments is to assist the Department in its review of these rules. Upon 
completion of this review, the Department may decide to allow the rules 
to take effect, issue a further extension, withdraw the rules, or 
propose amendments. The Department requests comments on each of these 
possible outcomes. The comment period for this broader purpose will end 
on March 6, 2009.

List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 2550

    Employee benefit plans, Exemptions, Fiduciaries, Investments, 
Pensions, Prohibited transactions, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, and Securities.

    For the reasons set forth above, the publication on January 21, 
2009 (73 FR 3822), of the final rule amending 29 CFR Part 2550, is 
proposed to be further amended as follows:

PART 2550--RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY

    1. The authority citation for part 2550 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 29 U.S.C. 1135; and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-
2003, 68 FR 5374 (Feb. 3, 2003). Sec. 2550.401b-1 also issued under 
sec. 102, Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 43 FR 47713 (Oct. 17, 
1978), 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. 332, effective Dec. 31, 1978, 44 FR 1065 
(Jan. 3, 1978), 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. 332. Sec. 2550.401c-1 also issued 
under 29 U.S.C. 1101. Sections 2550.404c-1 and 2550.404c-5 also 
issued under 29 U.S.C. 1104. Sec. 2550.407c-3 also issued under 29 
U.S.C. 1107. Sec. 2550.404a-2 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 401 note 
(sec. 657, Pub. L. 107-16, 115 Stat. 38). Sec. 2550.408b-1 also 
issued under 29 U.S.C. 1108(b)(1) and sec. 102, Reorganization Plan 
No. 4 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 332, effective Dec. 31, 1978, 44 
FR 1065 (Jan. 3, 1978), and 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. 332. Sec. 2550.408b-19 
also issued under sec. 611, Public Law 109-280, 120 Stat. 780, 972, 
and sec. 102, Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. 
p. 332, effective Dec. 31, 1978, 44 FR 1065 (Jan. 3, 1978), and 3 
CFR, 1978 Comp. 332. Sec. 2550.408g-1 also issued under sec. 102, 
Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 332, 
effective Dec. 31, 1978, 44 FR 1065 (Jan. 3, 1978), and 3 CFR, 1978 
Comp. 332. Sec. 2550.408g-2 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1108(g) and 
sec. 102, Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 
332, effective Dec. 31, 1978, 44 FR 1065 (Jan. 3, 1978), and 3 CFR, 
1978 Comp. 332. Sec. 2550.412-1 also issued under 29 U.S.C. 1112.

    2. Section 2550.408g-1 is amended by removing the date ``March 23, 
2009'' and adding in its place ``May 22, 2009'' in paragraph (g).

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 29th day of January, 2009.
Alan D. Lebowitz,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program Operations, Employee Benefits 
Security Administration, Department of Labor.
[FR Doc. E9-2296 Filed 2-3-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-29-P