The exemption will allow pension plans to create additional income by lending securities from their portfolios to a greater pool of permissible borrowers, according to a DoL announcement. Under the new exemption, the categories of permissible borrowers have been expanded to include broker-dealers and banks of the United Kingdom, Canada and certain other foreign broker-dealers and banks.
In addition, the announcement said, the new exemption expands the types of collateral that may be offered to plans for securities lending transactions to include:
- negotiable certificates of deposits payable in the United States,
- mortgage backed securities,
- the British pound,
- the Canadian dollar,
- the Swiss franc,
- Japanese yen,
- the Euro,
- securities issued by Multilateral Development Banks,
- rated foreign sovereign debt; and
- irrevocable letters of credit issued by certain foreign banks.
Also, if the plan’s US domiciled lending agent agrees to indemnify the plan against losses resulting from a borrower’s default, the final exemption permits a plan to accept any other type of collateral currently permitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission under Rule 15c3-3 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.
The final exemption, which revokes and replaces Prohibited Transaction Exemptions 81-6 and 82-63, also provides conditions to safeguard the assets of plans involved in securities lending transactions.
The final exemption will be published in the Federal Register for October 31, 2006.