Informing the Public

Improving Investment Advice for Workers & Retirees

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This document gives notice of a proposed class exemption from certain prohibited transaction restrictions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code). The prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA and the Code generally prohibit fiduciaries with respect to employee benefit plans (Plans) and individual retirement accounts and annuities (IRAs) from engaging in self-dealing and receiving compensation from third parties in connection with transactions involving the Plans and IRAs. The provisions also prohibit purchasing and selling investments with the Plans and IRAs when the fiduciaries are acting on behalf of their own accounts (principal transactions). This proposed exemption would allow investment advice fiduciaries under both ERISA and the Code to receive compensation, including as a result of advice to roll over assets from a Plan to an IRA, and to engage in principal transactions, that would otherwise violate the prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA and the Code. The exemption would apply to registered investment advisers, broker- dealers, banks, insurance companies, and their employees, agents, and representatives that are investment advice fiduciaries. The exemption would include protective conditions designed to safeguard the interests of Plans, participants and beneficiaries, and IRA owners. The new class exemption would affect participants and beneficiaries of Plans, IRA owners, and fiduciaries with respect to such Plans and IRAs.