The White House’s National Economic Council will be performing “industry outreach” regarding the Department of Labor’s redraft of its rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, according to an industry official.
Kent Mason, a partner with Davis & Harman in Washington, told ThinkAdvisor in an email message that the White House working group “is in the information gathering stage, and has not made any decisions” regarding the DOL’s fiduciary redraft, and that ”the NEC is part of the White House working group.”
“My sense is that the working group will likely be focused on the big picture policy questions, not the drafting issues” regarding DOL’s rule, Mason added.
The DOL fiduciary regulation is “probably the most important regulatory initiative that we’ve had in [Washington] DC in the last 20 years,” Steve Saxon, chairman of Groom Law Group, said Tuesday during his comments at the Insured Retirement Institute’s Government Legal & Regulatory conference in Washington. “Rarely do you see the level of interest at the White House” that the DOL fiduciary rule has gotten.
Saxon said during his remarks at the IRI event that in his conversations with DOL officials, he’s stressed that if the fiduciary redraft — which the DOL has now pushed to a January 2015 release date — expands the definition of fiduciary under ERISA, then the department “has to make the [rule’s] exemptions workable.”