WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the reopening of the comment period on proposed amendments to six class exemptions from prohibited transaction rules set forth in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code.

Proposed in 2013, the amendments comply with Section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires the department to remove any references to, or requirements of reliance, on credit ratings from its class exemptions and for the department to substitute standards of creditworthiness it determines to be appropriate. The proposed amendments relate to credit rating references in the conditions of Class Prohibited Transaction Exemptions 75-1, 80-83, 81-8, 95-60, 97-41 and 2006-16. 

While the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration received three comments in 2013 generally supportive of the department’s approach, it did not finalize the amendments. In the years since, other regulators have finalized changes to the treatment of credit ratings under their regulatory regimes.

“Given the passage of time, the Department of Labor wants to ensure all interested parties have an opportunity to provide comments or new information to consider as we finalize the proposal. As such, we are reopening the comment period and soliciting comments on all aspects of the 2013 proposal,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Ali Khawar.

The Federal Register will publish the notice in its June 24, 2021, edition. Submit comments in response to the notice for 45 days from its publication at https://www.regulations.gov/.

Learn more about the Employee Benefits Security Administration and its work to protect employer-sponsored healthcare and retirement plans. 

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