Adoption of Amendment to the Class Exemption for the Release of Claims and Extensions of Credit in Connection With Litigation (PTE 2003-39)
This document amends PTE 2003-39 (68 FR 75632, Dec. 31, 2003), a class exemption from certain prohibited transaction restrictions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA or the Act) and from certain taxes imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code). PTE 2003-39 generally exempts a plan's receipt of consideration from a related party in partial or complete settlement of actual or threatened litigation, as well as extensions of credit from a plan in connection with settlement payments made over time by the related party. The amendment expands the categories of assets that may be accepted by plans in the settlement of litigation, subject to certain conditions. Among other things, the amendment permits the receipt of non-cash assets in settlement of a claim (including the promise of future employer contributions) but only in instances where the consideration can be objectively valued. The amendment also modifies PTE 2003-39 to permit plans to acquire, hold, or sell employer securities such as warrants and stock rights which are received in settlement of litigation, including bankruptcy proceedings.