DOL Clarifies Role of Clearing Members in Cleared Swaps

14 February 2013
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Key takeaways

In Advisory Opinion 2013A-01, which clarifies ERISA's application to the cleared swap framework established by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Department of Labor found that when a clearing member acts as a clearing agent for an employee benefit plan in a cleared swap:

  • a clearing member is not a plan fiduciary but is a party in interest;
  • amounts deposited by the plan as margin are not plan assets; and
  • the QPAM exemption is available to exempt transactions (including subsequent close out and liquidation transactions) with the clearing member and other parties in interest to the plan.