PWBA Calls for Comments on PTE Change

June 18, 2002 ( - The Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) is asking for public comment about its proposal to exempt the sale of individual retirement annuities from prohibited transaction rules.

Under the PWBA’s proposal, annuity owners, or members of their families, will be able to get individual retirement annuities at reduced commissions or at no cost, by adding annuities to the list of prohibited transaction exemption (PTE 97-11).

The proposal would effectively extend the same benefits to annuitants and their families as those that owners of individual retirement accounts (IRA) or their families already enjoy. 

PWBA officials said in the notice that individual retirement accounts and individual retirement annuities serve the same purpose and are identical in all relevant features, including tax benefits.

Although they use different investment vehicles to hold their respective assets, such a distinction is irrelevant for purposes of the relief provided by the proposed changes to PTE 97-11.

Written comments and requests for a hearing can be transmitted by August 2 via snail mail to US Department of Labor, Office of Exemption Determinations, PWBA, Room N-5649, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210, or e-mail at or by fax at 202-219-0204.