Release: #4370-00
For Release: March 2, 2000


Washington, D.C. ­ The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced today that it is proposing to revise Rule 4.5. This rule makes available an exclusion from the definition of the term "commodity pool operator" to certain "eligible persons" with respect to their operation of certain "qualifying entities". To claim relief under Rule 4.5, an eligible person must file a notice of eligibility with the National Futures Association and the Commission, which notice must contain specified identifying information and operating representations. Rule 4.5 further provides that certain employee benefit plans are not commodity pools and, thus, no notice needs to be filed and no operating criteria need to be followed for exclusionary relief to be available.

The Commission is proposing to revise Rule 4.5 by adding that a plan defined as a church plan in Section 3(33) of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 will be treated as an employee benefit plan that the rule currently states are not commodity pools. The Commission also is proposing certain technical conforming revisions to the existing paragraphs under Rule 4.5 to which this new provision would be added.

The proposed revisions to Rule 4.5 were published in the Federal Register on March 1, 2000 at 65 Fed. Reg. 10939. Public comment on the proposed revisions must be received by March 31, 2000. A copy of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking can be obtained by contacting the Commission's Office of Secretariat, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20581, (202) 418-5100. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also is available on the Commission's website at