Department of Labor reveals updates to the filing and processing protocols for Exemptions from Prohibited Transactions.

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has announced amendments to its Procedures Governing the Filing and Processing of Prohibited Transaction Exemption Applications. This update to the Exemption Procedure Regulation, which was first published in 2011, is in accordance with Section 408(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which directs the Secretary of Labor to establish procedures for granting administrative prohibited transaction exemptions.

The final Exemption Procedure Regulation, which was proposed on March 15, 2022, reflects public input received through comments and testimony at a public hearing on the proposed rule. According to Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Lisa M. Gomez, the amended procedure will bring more clarity, certainty, and transparency to the exemption application process, benefiting both applicants and the public.

The updated regulation promotes the prompt and efficient consideration of all prohibited transaction exemption applications by clarifying the required information and documentation for a complete application, revising the definitions of a qualified independent fiduciary and qualified independent appraiser to ensure their independence, and specifying the content of reports and documents that must be submitted to the department. It also updates timing requirements, specifies items included in the administrative record for an application, and expands opportunities for electronic submission of information.

To learn more about the Employee Benefits Security Administration and its efforts to protect job-based healthcare and retirement plans, you can read the final Exemption Procedure Regulation notice and visit their website.  

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