EBSA Proposes PTE Change for In-House Asset Managers

June 16, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A proposed amendment of a prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) would expand the number of allowable transactions by in-house managers of large employee benefit plans with related parties.

The U.S Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) said Tuesday that the proposed change to PTE 96-23 would also “remove numerous administrative burdens that have been cited by practitioners.” For example, among other things, the proposed amendment clarifies the Department’s expectations about the class exemption’s annual audit and written report requirements, a news release said.

The proposed change would also help to ease “practitioner uncertainty” about the current exemption, the Department said.

According to the proposal, public comments indicated that the existing requirement that an INHAM (in-house asset manager) be a wholly-owned subsidiary of an employer or its parent organization unduly limited some entities from serving as INHAMs. In response, the department said it now proposes to expand the definition of INHAM to include a subsidiary that is 80% or more owned by the employer or parent company.

The plan assets under management requirement would be increased from $50 million to $85 million, effective as of the last day of the first fiscal year beginning on or after the date of publication in the Federal Register of the final amendment to this exemption, the news release said.

Written comments and requests for a public hearing about the proposed amendment should be addressed to:Office of Exemption Determinations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room N-5700, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20210, Attention: PTE 96-23 Amendment. 

The EBSA proposal was published in the Federal Register and is available athttp://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/search.html.