Proposed amendments to the underwriter exemptions of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (Erisa) could become permanent as soon as Oct. 10 - retroactive to Aug. 23. The amendments could significantly impact the way private pension fund investors purchase asset-backed, mortgage-backed and commercial mortgage-backed securities, and help tighten spreads in the process.

The 45-day public comment period will end Oct. 10, and as of press time, no comments were received, said George Miler, deputy general counsel at the Bond Market Association, at a conference last week discussing the impact the amendments will have on existing and new transactions.

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