Proposed Extension of Information Collection Requests Submitted for Public Comment: Disclosures by Insurers to General Account Policyholders; ERISA Technical Release 91-1; Registration for EFAST-2 Credentials; ERISA Procedure 76-1; Prohibited Transaction Exemptions 94-71 and 2003-39; Notice of Blackout Period Under ERISA; Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program and Class Exemption, 76439-76441 [2011-31287]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2011 / Notices Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should reference OMB Control Number 1235– 0008. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that: • 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; • 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; • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • 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. Agency: Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Title of Collection: Davis-Bacon Certified Payroll. OMB Control Number: 1235–0008. Affected Public: Private Sector— Businesses or other for-profits. Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 96,096. Total Estimated Number of Responses: 2,210,208. Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 2,062,861. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $369,105. Dated: December 1, 2011. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2011–31372 Filed 12–6–11; 8:45 am] srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 4510–27–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:00 Dec 06, 2011 Jkt 226001 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration Proposed Extension of Information Collection Requests Submitted for Public Comment: Disclosures by Insurers to General Account Policyholders; ERISA Technical Release 91–1; Registration for EFAST– 2 Credentials; ERISA Procedure 76–1; Prohibited Transaction Exemptions 94–71 and 2003–39; Notice of Blackout Period Under ERISA; Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program and Class Exemption Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Labor (the Department), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA 95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department’s information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments on the proposed extension of the information collection requests (ICRs) contained in the documents described below. A copy of the ICRs may be obtained by contacting the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. ICRs also are available at reginfo.gov (http://www.reginfo.gov/ public/do/PRAMain). DATES: Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the Addresses section on or before February 6, 2012. ADDRESSES: G. Christopher Cosby, Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693–8410, Fax (202) 693–4745 (these are not toll-free numbers). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice requests public comment on the Department’s request for extension of the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) approval of ICRs contained in the rules and prohibited transactions described below. The Department is not proposing any changes to the existing ICRs at this time. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76439 required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. A summary of the ICRs and the current burden estimates follows: Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. Title: Disclosures by Insurers to General Account Policyholders. Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection of information. OMB Number: 1210–0114. Affected Public: Business or other forprofit; Not-for-profit institutions. Respondents: 50,000. Responses: 96,223. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 408,948. Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $32,235. Description: Section 1460 of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104–188) (SBJPA) amended added a new section 401(c) to the Employee Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This new section, inter alia, required the Department to promulgate a regulation providing guidance, applicable only to insurance policies issued on or before December 31, 1998, to or for the benefit of employee benefit plans, to clarify the extent to which assets held in an insurer’s general account under such contracts are ‘‘plan assets’’ within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), because the policies are not ‘‘guaranteed benefit policies’’ within the meaning of section 401(b) of ERISA. SBJPA further directed the Department to set standards for how insurers should manage the specified insurance policies (called Transition Policies). Pursuant to the authority and direction given under SBJPA, the Department promulgated a regulation, issued in final form on January 5, 2000 (65 FR 714), and codified at 29 CFR 2550.401c–1. This regulation has not been amended subsequently. The ICR is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2012. Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. Title: ERISA Technical Release 91–1. Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection of information. OMB Number: 1210–0084. Affected Public: Business or other forprofit; Not-for-profit institutions. Respondents: 15. Responses: 107,040. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1,827. Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $25,286. Description: The subject information collection requirements arise from ERISA section 101(e), which establishes E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 76440 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2011 / Notices notice requirements that must be satisfied before an employer may transfer excess assets from a defined benefit pension plan to a retiree health benefit account, as permitted under the conditions set forth in section 420 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The notice requirements of section 101(e) are two-fold. First, subsection (e)(1) requires plan administrators to provide advance written notification of such transfers to participants and beneficiaries. Second, subsection (e)(2)(A) requires employers to provide advance written notification of such transfers to the Secretaries of Labor and the Treasury, the plan administrator, and each employee organization representing participants in the plan. Both notices must be given at least 60 days before the transfer date. The two subsections prescribe the information to be included in each type of notice and further give the Secretary of Labor the authority to prescribe how notice to participants and beneficiaries must be given and any additional reporting requirements deemed necessary. Although the Department of Labor has not issued regulations under section 101(e), on May 8, 1991, the Department published ERISA Technical Release 91– 1, to provide guidance on how to satisfy the notice requirements prescribed by this section. The Technical Release made two changes in the statutory requirements for the second type of notice. First, it required the notice to include a filing date and the intended asset transfer date. Second, it simplified the statutory filing requirements by providing that filing with the Department of Labor would be deemed sufficient notice to both the Department and the Department of the Treasury as required under the statute. The ICR is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2012. Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. Title: Registration for EFAST–2 Credentials. Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection of information. OMB Number: 1210–0117. Affected Public: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions. Respondents: 400,000. Frequency of Responses: On occasion. Responses: 400,000. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 133,333. Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $0. Description: ERISA Section 104 requires administrators of pension and welfare benefit plans (collectively, VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:00 Dec 06, 2011 Jkt 226001 employee benefit plans), and employers sponsoring certain fringe benefit plans and other plans of deferred compensation, to file returns/reports annually with the Secretary of Labor (the Secretary) concerning the financial condition and operation of the plans. Reporting requirements are satisfied by filing the Form 5500 in accordance with its instructions and the related regulations. Beginning with plan year filings for 1999, Form 5500 filings were processed under the ERISA Filing Acceptance System (EFAST), which was designed to simplify and expedite the receipt and processing of the Form 5500 by relying on computer scannable forms and electronic filing technologies. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved this information collection under OMB Control Number 1210–0117. Beginning with plan year filings for 2009, Form 5500 filings are processed under a new system, the ERISA Filing Acceptance System 2 (EFAST–2), which is designed to simplify and expedite the receipt and processing of the Form 5500 by relying on Internet-based forms and electronic filing technologies. In order to file electronically, employee benefit plan filing authors, schedule authors, filing signers, Form 5500 transmitters, and entities developing software to complete and/or transmit the Form 5500 are required to register for EFAST–2 credentials through the EFAST–2 Web site. Requested information includes: Applicant type (filing author, filing signer, schedule author, transmitter, or software developer); mailing address; fax number (optional); email address; company name, contact person; and daytime telephone number. Registrants must also provide an answer to a challenge question (‘‘What is your date of birth?’’ or ‘‘Where is your place of birth?’’), which enables users to retrieve forgotten credentials. In addition, registrants must accept a Privacy Agreement; PIN Agreement; and, under penalty of perjury, a Signature Agreement. On October 23, 2011, OMB approved a revision to OMB Control Number 1210–0117 to reflect the EFAST–2 credential process under the emergency procedures for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35) and 5 CFR 1320.13. OMB’s approval of the revision currently is scheduled to expire on April 30, 2012. Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. Title: ERISA Procedure 76–1; Advisory Opinion Procedure. PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection of information. OMB Number: 1210–0066. Affected Public: Business or other forprofit; Not-for-profit institutions. Respondents: 63. Responses: 63. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 652. Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $1,425,229. Description: Under ERISA, the Department has responsibility to administer the reporting, disclosure, fiduciary and other standards for pension and welfare benefit plans. In 1976, the Department issued ERISA Procedure 76–1, Procedure for ERISA Advisory Opinions (ERISA Procedure), in order to establish a public process for requesting guidance from EBSA on the application of ERISA to particular circumstances. The ERISA Procedure sets forth specific administrative procedures for requesting either an advisory opinion or an information letter and describes the types of questions that may be submitted. As part of the ERISA Procedure, requesters are instructed to provide information to EBSA concerning the circumstances governing their request. EBSA relies on the information provided by the requester to analyze the issue presented and provide guidance. The ERISA Procedure has been in use since 1976, and the Department has issued hundreds of advisory opinions and information letters under its rules. The ICR is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2012. Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. Title: Settlement Agreements Between a Plan and a Party-in-Interest (PTEs 94– 71 and 2003–39). Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection of information. OMB Number: 1210–0091. Affected Public: Business or other forprofit; Not-for-profit institutions. Respondents: 4. Responses: 1080. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 28. Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $315. Description: Section 408(a) of ERISA and section 4975(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code) give the Secretary of Labor the authority to grant an exemption to a class or order of fiduciaries, disqualified persons, or transactions from all or part of the restrictions imposed by sections 406 and 407(a) of ERISA and from the taxes imposed by sections 4975(a) and (b) of the Code, by reason of section 4975(c)(1) E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 235 / Wednesday, December 7, 2011 / Notices of the Code. This information collection request (ICR) relates to two prohibited transaction class exemptions (PTEs) that the Department of Labor (the Department) has granted, both of which involve settlement agreements. These two exemptions are described below: PTE 94–71. Granted on September 30, 1994, PTE 94–71 exempts from certain restrictions of ERISA and certain taxes imposed by the Code, a transaction or activity that is authorized, prior to the execution of the transaction or activity, by a settlement agreement resulting from an investigation of an employee benefit plan conducted by the Department. PTE 2003–39. Granted on December 31, 2005, PTE 03–39 exempts from certain restrictions of ERISA and certain taxes imposed by the Code, transactions arising out of the settlement of litigation that involve the release of claims against parties in interest in exchange for payment by or on behalf of the party in interest, provided that certain conditions are met. Because both exemptions involve settlement agreements, the Department has combined their information collection provisions into one ICR and has obtained OMB approval for their paperwork burden. The Department believes that the public and the Federal government are both best served by allowing the public to review and comment on similar exemption provisions in combination. The ICR is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2012. Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. Title: Notice of Blackout Period Under ERISA. Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection of information. OMB Number: 1210–0122. Affected Public: Business or other forprofit; Not-for-profit institutions. Respondents: 45,200. Responses: 3,465,447. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 183,342. Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $1,628,760. Description: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOA), enacted on July 30, 2002, added ERISA section 101(i), which requires individual account pension plans to furnish a written notice to participants and beneficiaries in advance of any ‘‘blackout period’’ during which their existing rights to direct or diversify their investments under the plan, or obtain a loan or distribution from the plan will be temporarily suspended. Under 306(b)(2) of SOA, the Secretary of Labor was directed to issue interim final rules VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:00 Dec 06, 2011 Jkt 226001 necessary to implement the SOA amendments. The Department’s regulation for this purpose is codified at 29 CFR 2520.101–3. The ICR is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2012. Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. Title: Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program. Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection of information. OMB Number: 1210–0118. Affected Public: Business or other forprofit; Not-for-profit institutions. Respondents: 1,525. Responses: 76,242. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 6,863. Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $273,403. Description: This information collection arises from two related actions: the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (the VFC Program or the Program) and Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption (PTE) 2002–51 (the Exemption). The Department adopted the Program and the Exemption in order to encourage members of the public to voluntarily correct transactions that violate (or are suspected of violating) the fiduciary or prohibited transaction provisions of the ERISA. Both the Program and the Exemption incorporate information collection requirements in order to protect participants and beneficiaries and enable the Department to oversee the appropriate use of the Program and the Exemption. The ICR is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2012. Focus of Comments The Department is particularly interested in comments that: • Evaluate whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • 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., by permitting electronic submissions of responses. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the ICRs for OMB approval PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76441 of the extension of the information collection; they will also become a matter of public record. Dated: November 30, 2011. Joseph S. Piacentini, Director, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration. [FR Doc. 2011–31287 Filed 12–6–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–29–P NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Emergency Clearance; Public Information Collection Requirements Submitted to the Office of Management and Budget; Notice National Science Foundation. Emergency Clearance: Public Information Collection Requirements Submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). AGENCY: ACTION: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing plans to request approval of this collection. In accordance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13), we are providing an opportunity for public comment on this action. After obtaining and considering public comment, NSF will prepare the submission requesting that OMB approve clearance of this collection for no longer than 3 years. DATES: Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden or any other aspect of these collections of information requirements by January 6, 2012. ADDRESSES: Written comments regarding the information collection and requests for copies of the proposed information collection request should be addressed to Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Rm. 295, Arlington, VA 22230, or by email to splimpto@nsf.gov, and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503. Attn: Sharon Mar, NSF Desk Officer. Comments: Written comments are invited on (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information on respondents, including through the use SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 235 (Wednesday, December 7, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76439-76441]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-31287]


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

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employee Benefits Security Administration


Proposed Extension of Information Collection Requests Submitted 
for Public Comment: Disclosures by Insurers to General Account 
Policyholders; ERISA Technical Release 91-1; Registration for EFAST-2 
Credentials; ERISA Procedure 76-1; Prohibited Transaction Exemptions 
94-71 and 2003-39; Notice of Blackout Period Under ERISA; Voluntary 
Fiduciary Correction Program and Class Exemption

AGENCY: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Labor (the Department), in accordance with 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA 95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), 
provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to 
comment on proposed and continuing collections of information. This 
helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection 
requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps 
the public understand the Department's information collection 
requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. The 
Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments 
on the proposed extension of the information collection requests (ICRs) 
contained in the documents described below. A copy of the ICRs may be 
obtained by contacting the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of 
this notice. ICRs also are available at reginfo.gov (http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain).

DATES: Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the 
Addresses section on or before February 6, 2012.

ADDRESSES: G. Christopher Cosby, Department of Labor, Employee Benefits 
Security Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20210, (202) 693-8410, Fax (202) 693-4745 (these are not toll-free 
numbers).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice requests public comment on the 
Department's request for extension of the Office of Management and 
Budget's (OMB) approval of ICRs contained in the rules and prohibited 
transactions described below. The Department is not proposing any 
changes to the existing ICRs at this time. An agency may not conduct or 
sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information 
collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. A summary of 
the ICRs and the current burden estimates follows:
    Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of 
Labor.
    Title: Disclosures by Insurers to General Account Policyholders.
    Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved 
collection of information.
    OMB Number: 1210-0114.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit 
institutions.
    Respondents: 50,000.
    Responses: 96,223.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 408,948.
    Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $32,235.
    Description: Section 1460 of the Small Business Job Protection Act 
of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-188) (SBJPA) amended added a new section 401(c) to 
the Employee Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This new section, 
inter alia, required the Department to promulgate a regulation 
providing guidance, applicable only to insurance policies issued on or 
before December 31, 1998, to or for the benefit of employee benefit 
plans, to clarify the extent to which assets held in an insurer's 
general account under such contracts are ``plan assets'' within the 
meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), because 
the policies are not ``guaranteed benefit policies'' within the meaning 
of section 401(b) of ERISA. SBJPA further directed the Department to 
set standards for how insurers should manage the specified insurance 
policies (called Transition Policies). Pursuant to the authority and 
direction given under SBJPA, the Department promulgated a regulation, 
issued in final form on January 5, 2000 (65 FR 714), and codified at 29 
CFR 2550.401c-1. This regulation has not been amended subsequently. The 
ICR is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2012.
    Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of 
Labor.
    Title: ERISA Technical Release 91-1.
    Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved 
collection of information.
    OMB Number: 1210-0084.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit 
institutions.
    Respondents: 15.
    Responses: 107,040.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1,827.
    Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $25,286.
    Description: The subject information collection requirements arise 
from ERISA section 101(e), which establishes

[[Page 76440]]

notice requirements that must be satisfied before an employer may 
transfer excess assets from a defined benefit pension plan to a retiree 
health benefit account, as permitted under the conditions set forth in 
section 420 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
    The notice requirements of section 101(e) are two-fold. First, 
subsection (e)(1) requires plan administrators to provide advance 
written notification of such transfers to participants and 
beneficiaries. Second, subsection (e)(2)(A) requires employers to 
provide advance written notification of such transfers to the 
Secretaries of Labor and the Treasury, the plan administrator, and each 
employee organization representing participants in the plan. Both 
notices must be given at least 60 days before the transfer date. The 
two subsections prescribe the information to be included in each type 
of notice and further give the Secretary of Labor the authority to 
prescribe how notice to participants and beneficiaries must be given 
and any additional reporting requirements deemed necessary.
    Although the Department of Labor has not issued regulations under 
section 101(e), on May 8, 1991, the Department published ERISA 
Technical Release 91-1, to provide guidance on how to satisfy the 
notice requirements prescribed by this section.
    The Technical Release made two changes in the statutory 
requirements for the second type of notice. First, it required the 
notice to include a filing date and the intended asset transfer date. 
Second, it simplified the statutory filing requirements by providing 
that filing with the Department of Labor would be deemed sufficient 
notice to both the Department and the Department of the Treasury as 
required under the statute. The ICR is scheduled to expire on March 31, 
2012.
    Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of 
Labor.
    Title: Registration for EFAST-2 Credentials.
    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection of 
information.
    OMB Number: 1210-0117.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households; Business or other for-
profit; Not-for-profit institutions.
    Respondents: 400,000.
    Frequency of Responses: On occasion.
    Responses: 400,000.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 133,333.
    Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $0.
    Description: ERISA Section 104 requires administrators of pension 
and welfare benefit plans (collectively, employee benefit plans), and 
employers sponsoring certain fringe benefit plans and other plans of 
deferred compensation, to file returns/reports annually with the 
Secretary of Labor (the Secretary) concerning the financial condition 
and operation of the plans. Reporting requirements are satisfied by 
filing the Form 5500 in accordance with its instructions and the 
related regulations. Beginning with plan year filings for 1999, Form 
5500 filings were processed under the ERISA Filing Acceptance System 
(EFAST), which was designed to simplify and expedite the receipt and 
processing of the Form 5500 by relying on computer scannable forms and 
electronic filing technologies. The Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) approved this information collection under OMB Control Number 
1210-0117.
    Beginning with plan year filings for 2009, Form 5500 filings are 
processed under a new system, the ERISA Filing Acceptance System 2 
(EFAST-2), which is designed to simplify and expedite the receipt and 
processing of the Form 5500 by relying on Internet-based forms and 
electronic filing technologies. In order to file electronically, 
employee benefit plan filing authors, schedule authors, filing signers, 
Form 5500 transmitters, and entities developing software to complete 
and/or transmit the Form 5500 are required to register for EFAST-2 
credentials through the EFAST-2 Web site. Requested information 
includes: Applicant type (filing author, filing signer, schedule 
author, transmitter, or software developer); mailing address; fax 
number (optional); email address; company name, contact person; and 
daytime telephone number. Registrants must also provide an answer to a 
challenge question (``What is your date of birth?'' or ``Where is your 
place of birth?''), which enables users to retrieve forgotten 
credentials. In addition, registrants must accept a Privacy Agreement; 
PIN Agreement; and, under penalty of perjury, a Signature Agreement.
    On October 23, 2011, OMB approved a revision to OMB Control Number 
1210-0117 to reflect the EFAST-2 credential process under the emergency 
procedures for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35) and 5 CFR 
1320.13. OMB's approval of the revision currently is scheduled to 
expire on April 30, 2012.
    Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of 
Labor.
    Title: ERISA Procedure 76-1; Advisory Opinion Procedure.
    Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved 
collection of information.
    OMB Number: 1210-0066.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit 
institutions.
    Respondents: 63.
    Responses: 63.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 652.
    Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): 
$1,425,229.
    Description: Under ERISA, the Department has responsibility to 
administer the reporting, disclosure, fiduciary and other standards for 
pension and welfare benefit plans. In 1976, the Department issued ERISA 
Procedure 76-1, Procedure for ERISA Advisory Opinions (ERISA 
Procedure), in order to establish a public process for requesting 
guidance from EBSA on the application of ERISA to particular 
circumstances. The ERISA Procedure sets forth specific administrative 
procedures for requesting either an advisory opinion or an information 
letter and describes the types of questions that may be submitted. As 
part of the ERISA Procedure, requesters are instructed to provide 
information to EBSA concerning the circumstances governing their 
request. EBSA relies on the information provided by the requester to 
analyze the issue presented and provide guidance. The ERISA Procedure 
has been in use since 1976, and the Department has issued hundreds of 
advisory opinions and information letters under its rules. The ICR is 
scheduled to expire on June 30, 2012.
    Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of 
Labor.
    Title: Settlement Agreements Between a Plan and a Party-in-Interest 
(PTEs 94-71 and 2003-39).
    Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved 
collection of information.
    OMB Number: 1210-0091.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit 
institutions.
    Respondents: 4.
    Responses: 1080.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 28.
    Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $315.
    Description: Section 408(a) of ERISA and section 4975(c)(2) of the 
Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code) give the Secretary of Labor 
the authority to grant an exemption to a class or order of fiduciaries, 
disqualified persons, or transactions from all or part of the 
restrictions imposed by sections 406 and 407(a) of ERISA and from the 
taxes imposed by sections 4975(a) and (b) of the Code, by reason of 
section 4975(c)(1)

[[Page 76441]]

of the Code. This information collection request (ICR) relates to two 
prohibited transaction class exemptions (PTEs) that the Department of 
Labor (the Department) has granted, both of which involve settlement 
agreements. These two exemptions are described below:
    PTE 94-71. Granted on September 30, 1994, PTE 94-71 exempts from 
certain restrictions of ERISA and certain taxes imposed by the Code, a 
transaction or activity that is authorized, prior to the execution of 
the transaction or activity, by a settlement agreement resulting from 
an investigation of an employee benefit plan conducted by the 
Department.
    PTE 2003-39. Granted on December 31, 2005, PTE 03-39 exempts from 
certain restrictions of ERISA and certain taxes imposed by the Code, 
transactions arising out of the settlement of litigation that involve 
the release of claims against parties in interest in exchange for 
payment by or on behalf of the party in interest, provided that certain 
conditions are met.
    Because both exemptions involve settlement agreements, the 
Department has combined their information collection provisions into 
one ICR and has obtained OMB approval for their paperwork burden. The 
Department believes that the public and the Federal government are both 
best served by allowing the public to review and comment on similar 
exemption provisions in combination. The ICR is scheduled to expire on 
June 30, 2012.
    Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of 
Labor.
    Title: Notice of Blackout Period Under ERISA.
    Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved 
collection of information.
    OMB Number: 1210-0122.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit 
institutions.
    Respondents: 45,200.
    Responses: 3,465,447.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 183,342.
    Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): 
$1,628,760.
    Description: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOA), enacted on July 30, 
2002, added ERISA section 101(i), which requires individual account 
pension plans to furnish a written notice to participants and 
beneficiaries in advance of any ``blackout period'' during which their 
existing rights to direct or diversify their investments under the 
plan, or obtain a loan or distribution from the plan will be 
temporarily suspended. Under 306(b)(2) of SOA, the Secretary of Labor 
was directed to issue interim final rules necessary to implement the 
SOA amendments. The Department's regulation for this purpose is 
codified at 29 CFR 2520.101-3. The ICR is scheduled to expire on June 
30, 2012.
    Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of 
Labor.
    Title: Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program.
    Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved 
collection of information.
    OMB Number: 1210-0118.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit 
institutions.
    Respondents: 1,525.
    Responses: 76,242.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 6,863.
    Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $273,403.
    Description: This information collection arises from two related 
actions: the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (the VFC Program or 
the Program) and Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption (PTE) 2002-51 
(the Exemption). The Department adopted the Program and the Exemption 
in order to encourage members of the public to voluntarily correct 
transactions that violate (or are suspected of violating) the fiduciary 
or prohibited transaction provisions of the ERISA. Both the Program and 
the Exemption incorporate information collection requirements in order 
to protect participants and beneficiaries and enable the Department to 
oversee the appropriate use of the Program and the Exemption. The ICR 
is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2012.

 Focus of Comments

    The Department is particularly interested in comments that:
     Evaluate whether the collections of information are 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
     Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the 
collections of information, including the validity of the methodology 
and assumptions used;
     Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
     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., by 
permitting electronic submissions of responses.
    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized 
and/or included in the ICRs for OMB approval of the extension of the 
information collection; they will also become a matter of public 
record.

    Dated: November 30, 2011.
Joseph S. Piacentini,
Director, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security 
Administration.
[FR Doc. 2011-31287 Filed 12-6-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-29-P