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EBSA Notices

Grant of Individual Exemptions; Reagent Chemical & Research, Inc. Employees' Profit Sharing Plan and Trust (the Plan)   [3/3/2003]
[PDF]
FR Doc 03-4922

[Federal Register: March 3, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 41)]
[Notices]               
[Page 10047-10048]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr03mr03-93]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employee Benefits Security Administration

[Prohibited Transaction Exemption 2003-03; Exemption Application No. D-
11095 et al.]

 
Grant of Individual Exemptions; Reagent Chemical & Research, Inc. 
Employees' Profit Sharing Plan and Trust (the Plan)

AGENCY: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Grant of individual exemptions.

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SUMMARY: This document contains exemptions issued by the Department of 
Labor (the Department) from certain of the prohibited transaction 
restrictions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 
(the Act) and/or the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code).
    A notice was published in the Federal Register of the pendency 
before the Department of a proposal to grant such exemption. The notice 
set forth a summary of facts and representations contained in the 
application for exemption and referred interested persons to the 
application for a complete statement of the facts and representations. 
The application has been available for public inspection at the 
Department in Washington, DC. The notice also invited interested 
persons to submit comments on the requested exemption to the 
Department. In addition the notice stated that any interested person 
might submit a written request that a public hearing be held (where 
appropriate). The applicant has represented that it has complied with 
the requirements of the notification to interested persons. No requests 
for a hearing were received by the Department. Public comments were 
received by the Department as described in the granted exemption.
    The notice of proposed exemption was issued and the exemption is 
being granted solely by the Department because, effective December 31, 
1978, section 102 of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, 5 U.S.C. App. 1 
(1996), transferred the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to 
issue exemptions of the type proposed to the Secretary of Labor.

Statutory Findings

    In accordance with section 408(a) of the Act and/or section 
4975(c)(2) of the Code and the procedures set forth in 29 CFR part 
2570, subpart B (55 FR 32836, 32847, August 10, 1990) and based upon 
the entire record, the Department makes the following findings:
    (a) The exemption is administratively feasible;
    (b) The exemption is in the interests of the plan and its 
participants and beneficiaries; and
    (c) The exemption is protective of the rights of the participants 
and beneficiaries of the plan.

Reagent Chemical & Research, Inc. Employees' Profit Sharing Plan and 
Trust (the Plan); Located in Middlesex, New Jersey

[Prohibited Transaction Exemption No. 2003-03; Exemption Application 
No. D-11095]

Exemption

    The restrictions of sections 406(a), 406(b)(1) and (b)(2) of the 
Act and the sanctions resulting from the application of section 4975 of 
the Code, by reason of section 4975(c)(1)(A) through (E) of the Code, 
shall not apply to the proposed sale of a 73.4815% tenancy-in-common 
interest (the Property Interest) by the Plan to Brian Skeuse, a vice 
president and shareholder of Reagent Chemical & Research, Inc., and his 
spouse, Jan Skeuse, parties in interest with respect to the Plan, 
provided that the following conditions are satisfied:
    (a) The sale is a one-time cash transaction;
    (b) The Plan receives the greater of either: (i) $180,029.68; or 
(ii) the current fair market value for the Property Interest 
established at the time of the sale by an independent qualified 
appraiser; and
    (c) The Plan pays no commissions or other expenses associated with 
the sale.
    For a more complete statement of the facts and representations 
supporting the Department's decision to grant this exemption, refer to 
the Notice of Proposed Exemption published on December 30, 2002 at 67 
FR 79654.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Khalif Ford of the Department, 
telephone (202) 693-8540 (this is not a toll-free number).

Michigan Conference of Teamsters Welfare Fund (the Plan); Located in 
Detroit, MI

[Prohibited Transaction Exemption 2003-04; Exemption Application No. L-
11058]

Exemption

    The restrictions of sections 406(a)(1)(A) and (D) of the Act shall 
not apply to the cash sale, by the Plan, of certain parcels of real 
estate (the Property) to the Detroit Teamsters Temple Association 
(DTTA), a party in interest with respect to the Plan and a lessee of a 
portion of such Property.

[[Page 10048]]

    This exemption is subject to the following conditions:
    (a) DTTA pays the fair market value as determined by a qualified, 
independent appraiser on the date of the transaction.
    (b) The sale transaction has been reviewed and approved by an 
Independent Fiduciary, who was appointed by the United States District 
Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division for 
purposes of enforcing a settlement agreement dated January 21, 1998.
    (c) The sale is a one-time transaction for cash.
    (d) The Plan pays no fees or commissions in connection with the 
sale.
    For a more complete statement of the facts and representations 
supporting the Department's decision to grant this exemption, refer to 
the notice of proposed exemption published on November 18, 2002 at 67 
FR 69566.

Extension of Comment Period

    The notice of proposed exemption invited interested persons to 
submit comments to the Department on or before December 28, 2002. The 
applicant agreed to provide notice to interested persons by personal 
delivery or first class mail within ten days of the date that the 
proposal appeared in the Federal Register. A total of 23,511 notices 
was sent to Plan participants and other interested persons by first 
class mail. Of that total, 14,234 notices were sent on November 27, 
2002 and 8,951 notices were sent on November 29, 2002 (November 28, 
2002 being a federal holiday). On December 3, 2002, the applicant 
learned that 266 notices had not been included in the original mailings 
and that 66 envelopes from these mailings had been damaged. These 
remaining 332 notices were sent by first class mail on December 4, 
2002.
    To ensure that Plan participants would have a sufficient amount of 
time in which to provide their comments to the Department, the 
applicant decided to extend the comment period for another 46 days, or 
until February 14, 2003. In this regard, the applicant represents that 
on December 27, 2002, postcards were sent to the Plan's 5,662 retired 
participants by first class mail informing them that the period for 
submitting comments had been extended until February 14, 2003. In 
addition, on January 7, 2003, the applicant states that letters were 
sent by first class mail to the principal officers of the 19 Local 
Unions comprising the Michigan Conference of Teamsters instructing them 
to post an enclosure stating that the period for submitting comments 
had been extended until February 14, 2003. On January 8, 2003, a notice 
was posted on the Plan's website stating that the period for submitting 
comments had been extended until February 14, 2003.

Written Comments

    During the comment period, the Department received two written 
comments with respect to the proposed exemption. The first comment 
expressed approval of the exemption transaction. The second comment, 
which was submitted by a Plan participant who chose to remain 
anonymous, stated matters that were not germane to the exemption 
request.
    For further information regarding the comments received and other 
matters discussed herein, interested persons are encouraged to obtain 
copies of the exemption application file (Exemption Application No. L-
11058) the Department is maintaining in this case. The complete 
application file, as well as all supplemental submissions received by 
the Department, are made available for public inspection in the Public 
Disclosure Room of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room 
N-1513, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20210.
    Accordingly, after giving full consideration to the entire record, 
including the written comments, the Department has decided to grant the 
exemption.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Anna M.N. Mpras of the Department, 
telephone (202) 693-8565. (This is not a toll-free number.)

General Information

    The attention of interested persons is directed to the following:
    (1) The fact that a transaction is the subject of an exemption 
under section 408(a) of the Act and/or section 4975(c)(2) of the Code 
does not relieve a fiduciary or other party in interest or disqualified 
person from certain other provisions to which the exemption does not 
apply and the general fiduciary responsibility provisions of section 
404 of the Act, which among other things require a fiduciary to 
discharge his duties respecting the plan solely in the interest of the 
participants and beneficiaries of the plan and in a prudent fashion in 
accordance with section 404(a)(1)(B) of the Act; nor does it affect the 
requirement of section 401(a) of the Code that the plan must operate 
for the exclusive benefit of the employees of the employer maintaining 
the plan and their beneficiaries;
    (2) This exemption is supplemental to and not in derogation of, any 
other provisions of the Act and/or the Code, including statutory or 
administrative exemptions and transactional rules. Furthermore, the 
fact that a transaction is subject to an administrative or statutory 
exemption is not dispositive of whether the transaction is in fact a 
prohibited transaction; and
    (3) The availability of this exemption is subject to the express 
condition that the material facts and representations contained in the 
application accurately describes all material terms of the transaction 
which is the subject of the exemption.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 26th day of February, 2003.
Ivan Strasfeld,
Director of Exemption Determinations, Employee Benefits Security 
Administration, Department of Labor.
[FR Doc. 03-4922 Filed 2-28-03; 8:45 am]

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