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EBSA withdraws final rule

WASHINGTON — The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has published a notice withdrawing the final rule on the provision of investment advice under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s prohibited transaction provisions. The regulatory action is expected to be published in the Nov. 20 edition of the “Federal Register.”

The notice withdraws the Jan. 21, 2009, final rule that implemented a statutory prohibited transaction exemption under the Pension Protection Act (PPA), and provided an additional administrative class exemption. The department decided to withdraw the rule based on public comments that raised sufficient doubts as to whether the conditions of the final rule and the class exemption associated with the rule could adequately protect the interests of plan participants and beneficiaries. The department recently extended the applicability and effective dates of the final rule until May 17, 2010. That extension expires upon the effective date of this withdrawal.

The department intends to publish separately a proposed rule that conforms to the PPA statutory exemption relating to investment advice.

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