Hearing on Definition of the Term “Fiduciary”; Conflict of Interest Rule-Retirement Investment Advice and Related Proposed Prohibited Transaction Exemptions, 34869-34871 [2015-14921]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 117 / Thursday, June 18, 2015 / Proposed Rules Executive Order 12866 It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required. Drafting Information Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking. List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9 Wine. Proposed Regulatory Amendment For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows: PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: ■ the Siuslaw River and the intersection of Siuslaw River Road and Fire Road, to the 1,000 foot contour line; (15) Generally southeast along the meandering 1,000 foot contour line, crossing onto the Roseburg, Oregon map, to the intersection of the 1,000 foot contour line with the Lane/Douglas County line; (16) East along the Lane/Douglas County line approximately 3.8 miles to the intersection with the 1,000 foot contour line just east of the South Fork of the Siuslaw River; (17) Generally north, then northeast along the 1,000 foot contour line around Spencer Butte, and then generally south to a point along the Lane/Douglas County line 0.5 mile north of Interstate Highway 99; * * * * * Signed: June 11, 2015. John J. Manfreda, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2015–15036 Filed 6–17–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–31–P Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205. Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas EMPLOYEE BENEFITS SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 2. Section 9.90 is amended by revising paragraph (b) introductory text, adding new paragraph (b)(4), removing paragraphs (c)(11) through (c)(13), redesignating paragraphs (c)(14) through (c)(32) as paragraphs (c)(18) through (c)(36), and adding new paragraphs (c)(11) through (c)(17) to read as follows: 29 CFR Parts 2509, 2510, and 2550 § 9.90 AGENCY: ■ Willamette Valley. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * * (b) Approved maps. The approved maps for determining the boundaries of the Willamette Valley viticultural area are three U.S.G.S. Oregon maps scaled 1:250,000 and one U.S.G.S. Oregon map scaled 1:24,000. They are entitled: * * * * * (4) ‘‘Letz Creek, OR’’ (revised 1984). (c) * * * (11) Northeast, then southeast along the 1,000 foot contour line approximately 12 miles to its intersection with the R5W/R6W range line; (12) South along the R5W/R6W range line approximately 0.25 mile to the intersection with the 1,000 foot contour line; (13) Generally southeast along the meandering 1,000 foot contour line, crossing onto the Letz Creek map, to a point on the 1,000 foot contour line located due north of the intersection of Siuslaw River Road and Fire Road; (14) South in a straight line approximately 0.55 mile, crossing over VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:59 Jun 17, 2015 Jkt 235001 RIN 1210–AB32; 1210–ZA25 Hearing on Definition of the Term ‘‘Fiduciary’’; Conflict of Interest RuleRetirement Investment Advice and Related Proposed Prohibited Transaction Exemptions Employee Benefits Security Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice of hearing and extension of comment period. Notice is hereby given that the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) will hold a public hearing on August 10, 11, and 12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) to consider issues attendant to adopting a regulation concerning its proposed conflict of interest rule and related proposed prohibited transaction exemptions. The Department also is extending the date by which comments may be submitted on the proposed rule and proposed new and amended exemptions. Public comments on the proposals may now be submitted to the Department on or before July 21, 2015. DATES: The comment periods for the proposed rule and six proposed prohibited transaction exemptions published on April 20, 2015 (80 FR 21928, 21960, 22004, 22034, 22010, 22021, and 21989) have been extended, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 34869 and comments on the proposals must be received on or before July 21, 2015. The hearing will be held on August 10, 11, and 12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) beginning each day at 9 a.m. EDT. ADDRESSES: The hearing will be held in ´ ´ the Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Auditorium at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. You may submit a request to testify at the hearing by any of the following methods: • Email to e-ORI@dol.gov, subject line: Conflict of Interest Rule Hearing. • Mail: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule Hearing, Room N–5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Requests to testify must be received by 5:00 p.m. EDT, July 24, 2015. You may submit comments on the proposed rule and proposed prohibited transaction exemptions by the methods identified below. For the proposed rule, identified by RIN 1210–AB32, by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow instructions for submitting comments. Email: e-ORI@dol.gov. Include RIN 1210–AB32 in the subject line of the message. Mail: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule, Room N–5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule, Room N–5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. For the proposed prohibited transactions exemptions, identified by RIN 1210–ZA25, by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket ID number: EBSA–2014–0016. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Email to: e-OED@dol.gov. Include RIN 1210–ZA25 in the subject line of the message. Fax to: (202) 693–8474. Include RIN 1210–ZA25 in the subject line of the message. Mail: Office of Exemption Determinations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. E:\FR\FM\18JNP1.SGM 18JNP1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 34870 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 117 / Thursday, June 18, 2015 / Proposed Rules Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Suite 400, Washington DC 20210. Please include the application number(s) of the proposed prohibited transaction exemption upon which you are commenting: D–11712; D–11713; D– 11687; D–11327; D–11820; or D–11850; or any combination thereof. Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Exemption Determinations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 122 C St. NW., Suite 400, Washington DC 20001. Please include the application number(s) of the proposed prohibited transaction exemption upon which you are commenting: D–11712; D–11713; D– 11687; D–11327; D–11820; or D–11850; or any combination thereof. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Wong, Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), (202) 693–8510. This is not a toll-free number. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: EBSA published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015, a proposed rule that, upon adoption, would define who is a ‘‘fiduciary’’ of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as a result of giving investment advice to a plan or its participants or beneficiaries. The proposal also applies to the definition of a ‘‘fiduciary’’ of a plan, including an IRA, under section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code).1 If adopted, the proposal would treat persons who provide investment advice or recommendations to an employee benefit plan, plan fiduciary, plan participant or beneficiary, IRA, or IRA owner as fiduciaries in a wider array of advice relationships than the existing ERISA and Code regulations, which would be replaced. In the same edition of the Federal Register as the proposed regulation, EBSA also proposed new exemptions and amendments to existing exemptions from the prohibited transaction rules applicable to fiduciaries under ERISA and the Code. If adopted, these proposals would allow certain broker-dealers, insurance agents, and others that act as investment advice fiduciaries to continue to receive many common forms of compensation that otherwise would be prohibited as conflicts of interest. The proposed rule, and related exemptions, would increase consumer protection for plan sponsors, 1 Under section 102 of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to interpret section 4975 of the Code was transferred, with certain exceptions not here relevant, to the Secretary of Labor. References in this document to sections of ERISA should be read to refer also to the corresponding sections of the Code. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:59 Jun 17, 2015 Jkt 235001 fiduciaries, participants, beneficiaries, and IRA owners. For a full discussion of the proposed rule changes see 80 FR 21928 or visit EBSA’s Web site at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa, see Proposed Rules. For a full discussion of the proposed prohibited transaction exemptions and amendments to existing exemptions, see 80 FR 21960, et seq., or visit EBSA’s Web site at http:// www.dol.gov/ebsa (see Proposed Rules). Since publication in the Federal Register, there has been considerable interest expressed in the proposed rule, the related proposed prohibited transaction exemptions, and the accompanying Regulatory Impact Analysis, as well as several public comments requesting an extension of the comment period. The April 20 Federal Register documents provided a 75-day public comment period and required public comments to be submitted on or before July 6, 2015. Although the proposed rule included a 75-day comment period from the date of publication, the Department made clear that the opportunity for public input would not end after 75 days. In order to ensure that interested persons have sufficient time to share their views on the proposed rule and proposed new and amended prohibited transaction exemptions, EBSA is extending the comment period for submitting comments until July 21, 2015. The Federal Register documents published on April 20 also explained that the Department intended to hold a public hearing within 30 days of the close of the initial comment period, after which the comment period will reopen until approximately two weeks after the hearing transcript is published—a process that we anticipate will provide an additional 30 to 45 days of public comment. The hearing on this proposed rulemaking will be held on August 10, 11, and 12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) beginning ´ each day at 9 a.m. EDT, in the Cesar E. ´ Chavez Memorial Auditorium of the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, at 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. The hearing will be transcribed and the comment period will remain open after the conclusion of the hearing until 14 days after the official transcript is posted on EBSA’s Web site. Thus, with the 15-day extension of the public comment period announced in this document, the initial comment period will be more than 90 days and, following the public hearing and opening of the comment period until 14 days after the hearing transcript is PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 posted, we anticipate the opportunity for public testimony and comments may be more than 140 days in total. Persons interested in presenting testimony and answering questions at this public hearing must submit, by 5:00 p.m. EDT, July 24, 2015, a written request to testify and an outline of the issues they would like to address at the hearing. In addition to the outline, all requests to testify must clearly identify: (1) The name of the person desiring to serve as a witness; (2) the organization or organizations represented, if any; (3) contact information (address, telephone, and email), and (4) an indication of whether the person or organization submitted a written comment on the proposal, and, if so, the date of the comment letter. The hearing will be open to the general public. Any individuals with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact EBSA after submitting their written request to testify concerning the scheduling of their testimony. In addition to testimony on the proposed rule and proposed prohibited transaction exemptions, a portion of the hearing will focus specifically on the Department’s Regulatory Impact Analysis, which addresses the effects of conflicts of interest in the market for retirement investment advice and the need for regulation, the anticipated economic effects of the proposal, and the relative merits of certain regulatory alternatives. Thus, a portion of the hearing will be dedicated to testimony from panels of witnesses who specifically request an opportunity to present testimony focused on just the Department’s Regulatory Impact Analysis. Persons or organizations who want to have a witness testify during this portion of the hearing should so state in their request to testify and should limit the outline for that witness’ testimony accordingly. Depending upon the number and nature of the requests to testify, and in light of the limited time and space available for the public hearing, EBSA may need to limit the number of those testifying in order to provide an opportunity for the presentation of the broadest array of points of view on all aspects of the proposal during the period allotted for the hearing. The Department expects to organize the hearing into panels of witnesses with three or more witnesses on each panel. The Department will give preference in assigning panel slots to those persons or organizations who have submitted substantive comment letters regarding the proposals by the close of the comment period on July 21. The Department will also give preference, to E:\FR\FM\18JNP1.SGM 18JNP1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 117 / Thursday, June 18, 2015 / Proposed Rules the extent feasible, to parties with similar interests who select a common representative to testify on their behalf. Any persons not afforded an opportunity to testify will still have an opportunity to submit a written statement on the issues specified in their request to testify. Such statements will be included in the record. To facilitate the receipt and processing of requests to testify, EBSA encourages interested persons to submit their request to testify at the hearing and outlines by email to e-ORI@dol.gov, subject line: Conflict of Interest Rule Hearing. Persons submitting requests and outlines electronically should not submit paper copies. Persons submitting requests and outlines on paper should send or deliver their requests and outlines to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule Hearing, Room N–5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. All requests and outlines submitted will be available to the public, without charge, online at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa and at the Public Disclosure Room, N–1515, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. EBSA will prepare an agenda indicating the order of presentation of oral testimony. In the absence of special circumstances, each presenter will be allotted ten (10) minutes in which to complete his or her presentation. Those individuals who make oral comments and present testimony at the hearing should be prepared to answer questions regarding their information and comments. Those requesting to testify also should be prepared to participate as part of a panel. Information about the agenda for the hearing will be posted on http://www.dol.gov/ebsa no later than August 3, 2015. The hearings will be open to the public, but seating will be limited and will be provided on a first-come, firstserve basis. Witnesses and persons accompanying witnesses will be given priority in seating. To expedite visitor security access entrance into the building, individuals planning to attend the hearing can provide contact information by email to e-ORI@dol.gov, and arrive at least 20 minutes prior to the start of the hearing. Notice of Public Hearing Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held on August 10, 11, and 12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) concerning the VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:59 Jun 17, 2015 Jkt 235001 proposed Conflict of Interest Rule and proposed prohibited transaction exemptions published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015 (80 FR 21928). The hearing will be held ´ beginning at 9 a.m. EDT in the Cesar E. ´ Chavez Memorial Auditorium of the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Notice of Extension of Comment Period Notice is hereby given that the period for submitting comments on the proposed Conflict of Interest Rule and proposed prohibited transaction exemptions published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015 (80 FR 21928, et seq.) is being extended until July 21, 2015. Information on how to submit comments by email, mail, by hand, or by courier is in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notices of Proposed Exemptions published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015. Those documents are also available electronically at www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/ conflictsofinterest.html. All comments will be available to the public, without charge, online at http:// www.regulations.gov and http:// www.dol.gov/ebsa or at the Public Disclosure Room, N–1513, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Warning: Do not include any personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publicly disclosed. All comments may be posted on the Internet and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines. Comments may be submitted anonymously. Signed at Washington, DC, this 12th day of June, 2015. Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security, Department of Labor. [FR Doc. 2015–14921 Filed 6–16–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–29–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 228 [EPA–R06–OW–2015–0121; FRL–9929–30– Region 6] Ocean Dumping: Proposed Modification of Final Site Designation Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 34871 The Environmental Protection Agency EPA proposes to modify the use restrictions of the Galveston, TX Dredged Material Site, Freeport Harbor, TX, New Work (45 Foot Project), Freeport Harbor, TX, Maintenance (45 Foot Project), Matagorda Ship Channel, TX, Corpus Christi Ship Channel, TX, Port Mansfield, TX, Brazos Island Harbor, TX and Brazos Island Harbor (42-Foot Project), TX Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Sites (ODMDSs) located in the Gulf of Mexico offshore of Galveston, Freeport, Matagorda, Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield and Brownsville, Texas, respectively. These sites are EPA designated ocean dumping sites for the disposal of suitable dredged material. This proposed action is being taken because there are current restrictions in place with language that prevent disposal of suitable dredged material from locations other than the federal channels. The United States Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District has requested EPA amend the restrictions to allow disposal of suitable dredged material from the vicinity of federal navigation channels to alleviate pressure on the capacity of their upland dredged material placement areas, when necessary. DATES: Comments. Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before August 3, 2015. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA–R06– OW–2015–0121, by one of the following methods: Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov; follow the online instruction for submitting comments. • Email: Dr. Jessica Franks at franks.jessica@epa.gov. • Fax: Dr. Jessica Franks, Marine and Coastal Section (6WQ–EC) at fax number 214–665–6689. • Mail: Dr. Jessica Franks, Marine and Coastal Section (6WQ–EC), Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: (6WQ–EC), 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202–2733. Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket No. EPA–R06–OW–2015–0121. EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18JNP1.SGM 18JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 117 (Thursday, June 18, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 34869-34871]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-14921]


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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

29 CFR Parts 2509, 2510, and 2550

RIN 1210-AB32; 1210-ZA25


Hearing on Definition of the Term ``Fiduciary''; Conflict of 
Interest Rule-Retirement Investment Advice and Related Proposed 
Prohibited Transaction Exemptions

AGENCY: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice of hearing and extension of comment period.

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

SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Employee Benefits Security 
Administration (EBSA) will hold a public hearing on August 10, 11, and 
12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) to consider 
issues attendant to adopting a regulation concerning its proposed 
conflict of interest rule and related proposed prohibited transaction 
exemptions. The Department also is extending the date by which comments 
may be submitted on the proposed rule and proposed new and amended 
exemptions. Public comments on the proposals may now be submitted to 
the Department on or before July 21, 2015.

DATES: The comment periods for the proposed rule and six proposed 
prohibited transaction exemptions published on April 20, 2015 (80 FR 
21928, 21960, 22004, 22034, 22010, 22021, and 21989) have been 
extended, and comments on the proposals must be received on or before 
July 21, 2015. The hearing will be held on August 10, 11, and 12, and 
continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) beginning each day at 
9 a.m. EDT.

ADDRESSES: The hearing will be held in the C[eacute]sar E. 
Ch[aacute]vez Memorial Auditorium at the U.S. Department of Labor, 
Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20210. You may submit a request to testify at the hearing by any of the 
following methods:
     Email to e-ORI@dol.gov, subject line: Conflict of Interest 
Rule Hearing.
     Mail: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee 
Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule 
Hearing, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue 
NW., Washington, DC 20210.

Requests to testify must be received by 5:00 p.m. EDT, July 24, 2015.
    You may submit comments on the proposed rule and proposed 
prohibited transaction exemptions by the methods identified below.
    For the proposed rule, identified by RIN 1210-AB32, by any of the 
following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
instructions for submitting comments.
    Email: e-ORI@dol.gov. Include RIN 1210-AB32 in the subject line of 
the message.
    Mail: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits 
Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule, Room N-5655, 
U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20210.
    Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, 
Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest 
Rule, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue 
NW., Washington, DC 20210.
    For the proposed prohibited transactions exemptions, identified by 
RIN 1210-ZA25, by any of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov at Docket ID 
number: EBSA-2014-0016. Follow the instructions for submitting 
comments.
    Email to: e-OED@dol.gov. Include RIN 1210-ZA25 in the subject line 
of the message.
    Fax to: (202) 693-8474. Include RIN 1210-ZA25 in the subject line 
of the message.
    Mail: Office of Exemption Determinations, Employee Benefits 
Security Administration, U.S.

[[Page 34870]]

Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Suite 400, Washington 
DC 20210. Please include the application number(s) of the proposed 
prohibited transaction exemption upon which you are commenting: D-
11712; D-11713; D-11687; D-11327; D-11820; or D-11850; or any 
combination thereof.
    Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Exemption Determinations, Employee 
Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 122 C St. 
NW., Suite 400, Washington DC 20001. Please include the application 
number(s) of the proposed prohibited transaction exemption upon which 
you are commenting: D-11712; D-11713; D-11687; D-11327; D-11820; or D-
11850; or any combination thereof.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Wong, Office of Regulations and 
Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), 
(202) 693-8510. This is not a toll-free number.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: EBSA published in the Federal Register on 
April 20, 2015, a proposed rule that, upon adoption, would define who 
is a ``fiduciary'' of an employee benefit plan under the Employee 
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as a result of giving 
investment advice to a plan or its participants or beneficiaries. The 
proposal also applies to the definition of a ``fiduciary'' of a plan, 
including an IRA, under section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code 
(Code).\1\ If adopted, the proposal would treat persons who provide 
investment advice or recommendations to an employee benefit plan, plan 
fiduciary, plan participant or beneficiary, IRA, or IRA owner as 
fiduciaries in a wider array of advice relationships than the existing 
ERISA and Code regulations, which would be replaced. In the same 
edition of the Federal Register as the proposed regulation, EBSA also 
proposed new exemptions and amendments to existing exemptions from the 
prohibited transaction rules applicable to fiduciaries under ERISA and 
the Code. If adopted, these proposals would allow certain broker-
dealers, insurance agents, and others that act as investment advice 
fiduciaries to continue to receive many common forms of compensation 
that otherwise would be prohibited as conflicts of interest. The 
proposed rule, and related exemptions, would increase consumer 
protection for plan sponsors, fiduciaries, participants, beneficiaries, 
and IRA owners. For a full discussion of the proposed rule changes see 
80 FR 21928 or visit EBSA's Web site at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa, see 
Proposed Rules. For a full discussion of the proposed prohibited 
transaction exemptions and amendments to existing exemptions, see 80 FR 
21960, et seq., or visit EBSA's Web site at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa 
(see Proposed Rules).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Under section 102 of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, the 
authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to interpret section 4975 
of the Code was transferred, with certain exceptions not here 
relevant, to the Secretary of Labor. References in this document to 
sections of ERISA should be read to refer also to the corresponding 
sections of the Code.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Since publication in the Federal Register, there has been 
considerable interest expressed in the proposed rule, the related 
proposed prohibited transaction exemptions, and the accompanying 
Regulatory Impact Analysis, as well as several public comments 
requesting an extension of the comment period. The April 20 Federal 
Register documents provided a 75-day public comment period and required 
public comments to be submitted on or before July 6, 2015. Although the 
proposed rule included a 75-day comment period from the date of 
publication, the Department made clear that the opportunity for public 
input would not end after 75 days.
    In order to ensure that interested persons have sufficient time to 
share their views on the proposed rule and proposed new and amended 
prohibited transaction exemptions, EBSA is extending the comment period 
for submitting comments until July 21, 2015.
    The Federal Register documents published on April 20 also explained 
that the Department intended to hold a public hearing within 30 days of 
the close of the initial comment period, after which the comment period 
will reopen until approximately two weeks after the hearing transcript 
is published--a process that we anticipate will provide an additional 
30 to 45 days of public comment.
    The hearing on this proposed rulemaking will be held on August 10, 
11, and 12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) 
beginning each day at 9 a.m. EDT, in the C[eacute]sar E. Ch[aacute]vez 
Memorial Auditorium of the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins 
Building, at 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. The 
hearing will be transcribed and the comment period will remain open 
after the conclusion of the hearing until 14 days after the official 
transcript is posted on EBSA's Web site. Thus, with the 15-day 
extension of the public comment period announced in this document, the 
initial comment period will be more than 90 days and, following the 
public hearing and opening of the comment period until 14 days after 
the hearing transcript is posted, we anticipate the opportunity for 
public testimony and comments may be more than 140 days in total.
    Persons interested in presenting testimony and answering questions 
at this public hearing must submit, by 5:00 p.m. EDT, July 24, 2015, a 
written request to testify and an outline of the issues they would like 
to address at the hearing. In addition to the outline, all requests to 
testify must clearly identify: (1) The name of the person desiring to 
serve as a witness; (2) the organization or organizations represented, 
if any; (3) contact information (address, telephone, and email), and 
(4) an indication of whether the person or organization submitted a 
written comment on the proposal, and, if so, the date of the comment 
letter. The hearing will be open to the general public. Any individuals 
with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact EBSA 
after submitting their written request to testify concerning the 
scheduling of their testimony.
    In addition to testimony on the proposed rule and proposed 
prohibited transaction exemptions, a portion of the hearing will focus 
specifically on the Department's Regulatory Impact Analysis, which 
addresses the effects of conflicts of interest in the market for 
retirement investment advice and the need for regulation, the 
anticipated economic effects of the proposal, and the relative merits 
of certain regulatory alternatives. Thus, a portion of the hearing will 
be dedicated to testimony from panels of witnesses who specifically 
request an opportunity to present testimony focused on just the 
Department's Regulatory Impact Analysis. Persons or organizations who 
want to have a witness testify during this portion of the hearing 
should so state in their request to testify and should limit the 
outline for that witness' testimony accordingly.
    Depending upon the number and nature of the requests to testify, 
and in light of the limited time and space available for the public 
hearing, EBSA may need to limit the number of those testifying in order 
to provide an opportunity for the presentation of the broadest array of 
points of view on all aspects of the proposal during the period 
allotted for the hearing. The Department expects to organize the 
hearing into panels of witnesses with three or more witnesses on each 
panel. The Department will give preference in assigning panel slots to 
those persons or organizations who have submitted substantive comment 
letters regarding the proposals by the close of the comment period on 
July 21. The Department will also give preference, to

[[Page 34871]]

the extent feasible, to parties with similar interests who select a 
common representative to testify on their behalf. Any persons not 
afforded an opportunity to testify will still have an opportunity to 
submit a written statement on the issues specified in their request to 
testify. Such statements will be included in the record.
    To facilitate the receipt and processing of requests to testify, 
EBSA encourages interested persons to submit their request to testify 
at the hearing and outlines by email to e-ORI@dol.gov, subject line: 
Conflict of Interest Rule Hearing. Persons submitting requests and 
outlines electronically should not submit paper copies. Persons 
submitting requests and outlines on paper should send or deliver their 
requests and outlines to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, 
Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest 
Rule Hearing, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. All requests and outlines submitted 
will be available to the public, without charge, online at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa and at the Public Disclosure Room, N-1515, Employee 
Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210.
    EBSA will prepare an agenda indicating the order of presentation of 
oral testimony. In the absence of special circumstances, each presenter 
will be allotted ten (10) minutes in which to complete his or her 
presentation. Those individuals who make oral comments and present 
testimony at the hearing should be prepared to answer questions 
regarding their information and comments. Those requesting to testify 
also should be prepared to participate as part of a panel. Information 
about the agenda for the hearing will be posted on http://www.dol.gov/ebsa no later than August 3, 2015.
    The hearings will be open to the public, but seating will be 
limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. 
Witnesses and persons accompanying witnesses will be given priority in 
seating. To expedite visitor security access entrance into the 
building, individuals planning to attend the hearing can provide 
contact information by email to e-ORI@dol.gov, and arrive at least 20 
minutes prior to the start of the hearing.

Notice of Public Hearing

    Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held on August 
10, 11, and 12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) 
concerning the proposed Conflict of Interest Rule and proposed 
prohibited transaction exemptions published in the Federal Register on 
April 20, 2015 (80 FR 21928). The hearing will be held beginning at 9 
a.m. EDT in the C[eacute]sar E. Ch[aacute]vez Memorial Auditorium of 
the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210.

Notice of Extension of Comment Period

    Notice is hereby given that the period for submitting comments on 
the proposed Conflict of Interest Rule and proposed prohibited 
transaction exemptions published in the Federal Register on April 20, 
2015 (80 FR 21928, et seq.) is being extended until July 21, 2015. 
Information on how to submit comments by email, mail, by hand, or by 
courier is in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notices of Proposed 
Exemptions published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015. Those 
documents are also available electronically at www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/conflictsofinterest.html. All comments will be available to the public, 
without charge, online at http://www.regulations.gov and http://www.dol.gov/ebsa or at the Public Disclosure Room, N-1513, Employee 
Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Warning: Do not include 
any personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or 
other contact information) or confidential business information that 
you do not want publicly disclosed. All comments may be posted on the 
Internet and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines. Comments 
may be submitted anonymously.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 12th day of June, 2015.
Phyllis C. Borzi,
Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security, Department of 
Labor.
[FR Doc. 2015-14921 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4510-29-P