[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 125 (Wednesday, June 30, 2004)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 39376-39377]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-14719]


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JOINT BOARD FOR THE ENROLLMENT OF ACTUARIES

20 CFR Part 901

[REG-159704-03]
RIN 1545-BC82


Regulations Governing the Performance of Actuarial Services Under 
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974: Solicitation for 
Comments

AGENCY: Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries.

ACTION: Solicitation for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries (Joint Board) 
is seeking public comments regarding possible revisions to the 
regulations governing actuarial services under the Employee Retirement 
Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA).

DATES: Comments are requested on or before September 28, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to: Internal Revenue Service; Attn: 
SE:OPR (Joint Board regulations); 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20224. Comments may be submitted electronically at 
www.irs.gov/regs or via the Federal eRulemaking portal 
www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Elizabeth Van Osten, (202) 622-
8257 (not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries (Joint Board) was 
established on October 31, 1974, pursuant to section 3041 of the 
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Section 3042 
of ERISA provides that the Joint Board shall, by regulations, establish 
reasonable standards and qualifications for persons performing 
actuarial services under ERISA and enroll qualified actuaries. It also 
provides that the Joint Board may, after notice and an opportunity for 
a hearing, suspend or terminate the enrollment of an actuary who fails 
to discharge his or her duties under ERISA or who does not satisfy the 
requirements for enrollment.
    Consistent with section 3042 of ERISA, the Joint Board has 
promulgated regulations, addressing eligibility for enrollment, 
requirements for continuing education of enrolled actuaries, 
professional standards for performance of actuarial services under 
ERISA, bases for disciplinary actions and the procedures to be followed 
in taking those actions. Those regulations are found at 20 CFR part 901 
and were last amended in 1988.\1\
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    \1\ 40 FR 18776 (April 30, 1975); 42 FR 39200 (August 3, 1977); 
43 FR 39757 (September 7, 1978); 44 FR 11751 (March 2, 1979); 44 FR 
68458 (November 29, 1979); 53 FR 34484 (September 7,1988).
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Comments

    In recent years, the Joint Board has noted that changes in the 
actuarial profession, as well as modern innovations, such as the 
availability of alternative modes of training, are not adequately 
addressed in the regulations, thus necessitating revision of the 
regulations.
    Prior to issuing proposed regulations, the Joint Board wishes to 
obtain comments from the public regarding matters for consideration, 
including but not limited to the following areas:
    (1) Whether and to what extent the provisions in the current 
regulations on the procedures and conditions for enrollment and renewal 
of enrollment should be updated or revised, including provisions on 
qualifying experience, the structure and content of the basic and 
pension examinations, the completion of professional society 
examinations and qualifying formal education in lieu of the basic and 
pension examinations, and the definitions of terms used in the 
regulations.
    (2) Whether and to what extent provisions in the current 
regulations on Continuing Professional Education (CPE) should be 
updated or revised, including those relevant to formal and informal 
programs, the means for measuring attendance and completion, and 
acceptability of new technologies (computer-based programs, webcasts, 
recorded telecasts, audiotapes, videotapes, etc.).
    (3) Whether and to what extent provisions in the current 
regulations relevant to waivers of the CPE requirement should be 
updated or revised, including the circumstances, conditions, and 
limitations under which a waiver might be granted.
    (4) Whether and to what extent provisions in the current 
regulations on the types of enrollment statuses (active, inactive, 
retired) should be updated or revised, including the incorporation of 
limitations on the number of consecutive enrollment cycles during which 
an individual may be placed in either inactive or retired status.
    (5) Whether and to what extent provisions in the current 
regulations relevant to standards of conduct, performance and practice 
that relate to enrolled actuaries' duties under ERISA should be updated 
or revised, including those relevant to conflicts of interest, 
professional independence, disciplinary procedures, and sanctions.
    The Joint Board is also interested in obtaining information 
regarding the potential costs and benefits of any changes to the 
current regulations, including the potential impact of such changes on 
small entities. Therefore, in submitting comments in response to this 
notice, commentators are encouraged to include information with regard 
to the potential costs, benefits, and impact of any suggested 
regulatory changes for small businesses.
    All comments submitted will be made available for public inspection 
and copying, although comments will not be

[[Page 39377]]

individually acknowledged. Therefore, commentators should refrain from 
including personal information or other information that they believe 
should not be publicly disclosed. Additionally, in submitting comments 
with regard to some or all of the listed areas, please refer to the 
item numbers specified above.

Martin L. Pippins,
Chairman, Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries.
[FR Doc. 04-14719 Filed 6-29-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4830-01-P