Comments on 'Fiduciary' Delay Due March 17

WASHINGTON – The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a 60-day delay of the agency’s fiduciary (“conflict of interest”) rule. The rule, which currently requires compliance by April 10, 2017, would impact anyone who provides investment advice or recommendations for a fee or other compensation with respect to ERISA-covered retirement plans or IRAs.

The proposed delay was published in response to President Trump’s February 3, 2017 memorandum directing the DOL to examine whether the final fiduciary rule “may adversely affect the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information and financial advice.”

The Presidential Memorandum also instructs the DOL to prepare an updated economic and legal analysis concerning the likely impact of the fiduciary rule, considering among other things:

  • Whether the anticipated applicability of the fiduciary rule has harmed or is likely to harm investors due to a reduction of Americans' access to certain retirement savings offerings, retirement product structures, retirement savings information, or related financial advice;
  • Whether the anticipated applicability of the fiduciary rule has resulted in dislocations or disruptions within the retirement services industry that may adversely affect investors or retirees; and
  • Whether the fiduciary rule is likely to cause an increase in litigation, and an increase in the prices that investors and retirees must pay to gain access to retirement services. 

President Trump’s memo directs the DOL to rescind or revise the rule if the review determines that it is inconsistent with the Administration’s priorities regarding consumer access to retirement information and financial advice.

Comments on the proposal to extend the applicability date for 60 days must be submitted to DOL on or before March 17, 2017.

Comments regarding the examination described in the President’s Memorandum must be submitted on or before April 17, 2017.

Click here for the proposal. The proposed delay will be effective once the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

in Compliance & Regulatory News