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Monday, March 13, 2017

The DoL Provides Some Temporary Fiduciary Reg Relief

News summary by MFWire's editors

Given the level of uncertainty surrounding the fiduciary reg's implementation, the Department of Labor (DoL) has decided to give the industry a little wiggle room.

Joe Canary
EBSA
Director of Regulations And Interpretations
John J. Canary, director of regulations and interpretations at the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), announced short-term compliance concessions for financial institutions in a Field Assistance Bulletin published on Friday.

As it stands right now, the fiduciary reg will take effect April 10. However, on March 2, the DoL proposed a sixty-day delay, which, if approved, would push the implementation date back to June 9. The catch is there's no set deadline for finalizing the delay, so the reg could still go into effect on April 10.

According to Friday's announcement, if the DoL implements a delay after April 10, advisors and firms won't be penalized for not complying with the regulation during the gap period.

If the DoL doesn't implement a delay and the reg still goes into effect on April 10, the department won't immediately enforce the rule as long as advisors and institutions send out "required disclosures or other documents to retirement investors within a reasonable period after the publication of a decision not to delay the April 10 applicability date."

Canary cites the temporary enforcement policy as a response to concerns from financial services institutions about "investor confusion and other marketplace disruption" that may result from the delay's uncertainty.

InvestmentNews and Pensions & Investments also reported on the news. 

Edited by: Katy Golvala


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