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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The DoL Delays ... and Tweaks Might Be Next

News summary by MFWire's editors

The Department of Labor (DoL) officially finalized a 60-day delay to its fiduciary rule.

Timothy Hauser
Acting Secretary
The controversial regulation will now start being implemented on June 9, though the implementation deadline for the final pieces of the reg will remain January 1, 2018. Watch for the DoL to tweak the rule in the coming months. Meanwhile, trade groups and politicians are already reacting.

"Under the terms of the extension, advisers to retirement investors will be treated as fiduciaries and have an obligation to give advice that adheres to 'impartial conduct standards' beginning on June 9 rather than on April 10, 2017, as originally scheduled," the DoL confirms.

There will still be an ongoing review of the rule as a result of President Donald Trump's February 3 memorandum directing the DoL to analyze the rule's impact on American's ability to save for retirement.

"In the period between now and Jan. 1, 2018, when all of the exemptions’ conditions are scheduled to become fully applicable, the department intends to complete its review under the presidential memorandum and decide whether to make or propose further changes to the fiduciary rule or associated exemptions," the DoL's statement reads.

FSI (the Financial Services Institute, a trade group representing independent broker-dealers), praises the DoL's delay as "a critical step in protecting retirement savers' access to advice."

ICI (the Investment Company Institute, representing mutual fund firms) chief Paul Schott Stevens "welcomes the Department of Labor's delay" but asks for more.

"Additional time is critically needed," Stevens states.

On the flip side, outspoken Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) plans to launch a "Retirement Ripoff Counter" today to show, in real time, an estimated cost of delayed the DoL rule, WealthManagement.com reports.

The official delay is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on April 7 and will also be made available on the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) website.

The Financial Times, InvestmentNews, Pensions & Investments, TheStreet, ThinkAdvisor, and WealthManagement.com all covered the delay. 

Edited by: Chelsea Tyson

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