The following comment on Letter Type C, or variations thereof, was submitted by 312 individuals or entities on S7-27-03.
Letter Type C:
ADD YOUR COMPANY NAME HERE strongly objects to the application of the Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed 4 p.m. Eastern Time "hard close" regulations to retirement savings plans. We feel that the regulations would put plan sponsors and plan participants in the position of having to pay the penalty for the unscrupulous behavior of a comparatively small group of individuals who were involved in the late day trading scandal.
We agree that the SEC should act to prevent unethical trading practices, such as late day trading. Unfortunately, implementing the proposed "hard close" regulations without an appropriate exception for retirement plan recordkeepers could adversely affect the future success of the retirement savings plan system. Plan participants would be deprived of the ability to request transactions up until 4 p.m. ET and the expectation that those transactions will be processed at the current day's prices. Retirement plan participants would be subject to a much earlier cutoff than retail investors. This would clearly put participants at a disadvantage with respect to effective investment of their retirement savings.
We are requesting that the SEC include an exception in the 4 p.m. hard close regulations for recordkeepers of retirement savings plans. The recordkeepers could be required to cut off requests for investment transactions by 4 p.m., but allowed to send trades to the fund companies after 4 p.m., as is the current practice. Recordkeepers of retirement savings plans could provide proof of their compliance with the 4 p.m. cutoff for trade orders by the use of a combination of timestamps, certifications and required audits.
Please give our suggestions your full consideration as the SEC prepares to adopt regulations that pose a serious threat to the future of retirement savings plans. Thank you.