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DOL Fiduciary Rule Takes Effect June 9 | Maryland Benefit Advisors

In an editorial in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta stated that the DOL’s fiduciary rule will become effective June 9, 2017. “We have carefully considered the record in this case, and the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, and have found no principled legal basis to change the June 9 date while we seek public input,” he wrote and added, “Respect for the rule of law leads us to the conclusion that this date cannot be postponed.”

The rule was published in April 2016 (see our blog on the original ruling) and requires those who provide retirement investment advice to adhere to a fiduciary standard and put their clients’ best interest before their own profits. The rule also prohibits fiduciaries to plans, plan participants, and individual retirement account (IRA) owners from receiving payments creating conflicts of interest unless they comply with conditions designed to minimize the potential effects of a conflict. It was initially scheduled to take effect April 10, 2017.

Prior to the effective date, President Trump directed that the rule’s implementation be delayed for 60 days until June 9, 2017 so that the DOL could assess the regulation for changes or repeal.  At the same time as Secretary Acosta’s announcement, the DOL published a field assistance bulletin and frequently asked questions to assist fiduciaries with compliance beginning on June 9 while the agency continues its final review prior to the full implementation date of January 1, 2018.

During the time between June 9, 2017 and January 1, 2018, the DOL’s temporary enforcement policy states that “the Department will not pursue claims against fiduciaries who are working diligently and in good faith to comply with the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions, or treat those fiduciaries as being in violation of the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions.” That’s good news for fiduciaries.

Originally published by www.thinkhr.com

Department of Labor Delays Enforcement of the Fiduciary Duty Rule | Maryland Benefit Advisors

On April 4, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the applicability date for the final fiduciary rule will be extended, and published its final rule extending the applicability date in the Federal Register on April 7. This extension is pursuant to President Trump’s February 3, 2017 presidential memorandum directing the DOL to further examine the rule and the DOL’s proposed rule to extend the deadline released on March 2, 2017.

The length of the extension differs between certain requirements and/or components of the rule.  Below are the components and when and how applicability applies:

  • Final rule defining who is a “fiduciary”: Under the final rule, advisors who are compensated for providing investment advice to retirement plan participants and individual account owners, including plan sponsors, are fiduciaries. The applicability date for the final rule is extended 60 days, from April 10 until June 9, 2017. Fiduciaries will be required to comply with the impartial conduct or “best interest” standards on the June 9 applicability date.
  • Best Interest Contract Exemption: Except for the impartial conduct standards (applicable June 9 per above), all other conditions of this exemption for covered transactions are applicable January 1, 2018. Therefore, fiduciaries intending to use this exemption must comply with the impartial conduct standard between June 9, 2017 and January 1, 2018.
  • Class Exemption for Principal Transactions: Except for the impartial conduct standards (applicable June 9 per above), all other conditions of this exemption for covered transactions are applicable January 1, 2018. Therefore, fiduciaries intending to use this exemption must comply with the impartial conduct standard between June 9, 2017 and January 1, 2018 and thereafter.
  • Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 (relating to annuities): Except for the impartial conduct standard (applicable June 9 per above), the amendments to this exemption are applicable January 1, 2018.
  • Other previously granted exemptions: All amendments to other previously granted exemptions are applicable on June 9, 2017.

By Nicole Quinn-Gato, JD
Originally published by www.thinkhr.com