The DOL has expanded an earlier prohibited transaction class exemption related to the settlement of claims by a plan against an individual or entity that is a party in interest with respect to the plan. Before this amendment, the DOL had issued a class exemption from the prohibited transaction rules for transactions in which a plan might settle a claim against a party in interest in exchange for cash or other consideration. Despite objections by some commentators, the DOL has consistently held the view that the receipt by a plan of any property (including cash) in consideration for the release of a claim against a party in interest would constitute a prohibited transaction under the law. PTE 2003-39 provided a prohibited transaction class exemption for such transactions provided the terms of the exemption were followed. The issuance of the class exemption closely followed notable circumstances of corporate malfeasance, notably Enron in late 2001, where employee benefit plans had suffered losses and had claims against a party in interest. While the DOL reiterated its view that cash settlements are favored in these circumstances, the amended exemption recognizes that plans might not always be in a position to achieve a cash settlement, and that settlements involving stock, warrants, bonds, or other property might be in the best interest of a plan and its participants. The amended and expanded class exemption, therefore, permits a plan to receive noncash assets in settlement of a claim against a party in interest. The exemption extends to bonds and stock rights that constitute corporate securities even though such securities would not be "qualifying employer securities" under the general ERISA rules. This amended class exemption must be reviewed in any case where a plan and its fiduciaries believe that the plan may have a potential claim against a party in interest to recover assets on behalf of plan participants. (Amended PTE 2003-39, effective June 15, 2010)