DOL fiduciary rule delayed by 60 days

Part of Invesco’s Legislative Insights series

Jon VoglerOn April 7, 2017, a final rule delaying the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) fiduciary rule by 60 days was published in the Federal Register, pushing the applicability date from April 10 to June 9 of this year. But while the extension is settled, there is still a long road ahead for this rule.

The rule is still being studied — and could change further

On Feb. 3, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum directing the DOL to prepare an updated economic and legal analysis concerning the likely impact of the final rule. (See my previous blog entry, “White House directs DOL to examine fiduciary rule.”) However, the DOL’s announcement of the delay indicates that June 9 will remain the effective date of certain requirements of the rule and the Best Interest Contract Prohibited Transaction Exemption, even if the DOL has not yet completed its re-examination, which is expected to last more than 60 days. Given that the confirmation of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta may not occur until May, the DOL will likely need more time to coordinate the views of its career staff and political appointees about the rule and what changes to make.


White House directs DOL to examine fiduciary rule

Part of Invesco’s Legislative Insights series

Jon VoglerOn Feb. 3, 2017, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Labor Secretary to undertake an updated “economic and legal analysis” of the likely impact of the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule with several key considerations in mind:

  • Whether the April 10, 2017, applicability date of the fiduciary rule has harmed (or is likely to harm) investors through a reduction of Americans’ access to certain retirement savings offerings, retirement product structures, retirement savings information or related financial advice.
  • Whether it has resulted in dislocations or disruptions within the retirement services industry that may adversely affect investors or retirees.
  • Whether it 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.

DOL exempts certain state-run plans from ERISA

State plans for private-sector workers are granted ‘safe harbor’ despite retirement industry concerns

Jon Vogler

On Aug. 25, 2016, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued final regulations that exempt state-run retirement plans for private-sector employees from the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). While this will allay state fears that the plans would have to be ERISA-compliant, and thus incur additional costs, the retirement industry has reiterated numerous concerns about this development dating back before the release of the similar proposed rules last November. (For background on this issue, see my Nov. 20, 2015, blog post titled DOL riles retirement industry with ERISA exemption for state-run IRAs.)

Requirements for safe harbor status

To date, eight states —


DOL fiduciary rule faces a lineup of lawsuits

Part of Invesco Legislative Insights series

Jon VoglerProfessional groups representing the brokerage and insurance industries filed suit last month challenging the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) fiduciary regulation finalized in April. The rule requires financial advisors to act in the best interest of their clients in retirement accounts, but opponents say the costs of implementing this new standard would ultimately result in fewer investors receiving professional advice.

Who’s filing suit?