June 26, 2012

Ex-EBSA Head Sees No Fiduciary Plan Before Election

If Obama wins a second term, ‘we will see a renewed push for more aggressive regulation,’ says Campbell

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Brad Campbell, the former head of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), predicted Tuesday that the DOL won’t release its reproposed fiduciary rule until after the presidential election in November.

Brad CampbellCampbell (left), who is now a lawyer with the law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath in Washington, said at the Insured Retirement Institute’s (IRI) government, legal and regulatory conference in Washington that Labor has not sent a rule proposal to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within the last six months, something he called “an unusual dry spell” for the department. Even if Labor sent its reproposal to the White House today, he said, it usually takes three months before an approval is issued.

If President Obama wins re-election, however, Campbell said DOL’s rule amending the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), will quickly appear at OMB. If Obama wins a second term, Campbell said, “we will see a renewed push for more aggressive regulation, with [DOL’s] fiduciary proposal being one aspect of that,” he said.

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