Responding to pressure from Congress and industry trade groups, the Department of Labor said late Friday that it would extend the comment period on its fiduciary redraft by 15 days.
DOL has received requests from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as well as industry trade groups to extend the current 75-day comment period by another 45 days.
The most recent letter came Tuesday from top GOP lawmakers, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as well as Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has oversight authority of DOL, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, asking Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to extend the comment period to 120 days.
The current 75-day comment period, which ends on July 6, “is not an appropriate amount of time,” the Senators told Perez.
DOL said in a statement late Friday afternoon that it will extend the comment period on its fiduciary redraft, known as the Conflict of Interest Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, by 15 days.
A notice announcing this extension, as well as the dates of public hearings, which will take place during the week of August 10, 2015, will be published in a forthcoming edition of the Federal Register, DOL said.
Industry trade groups asked Perez in late April to extend the comment period, but when asked if DOL would honor that request, Perez reiterated DOL’s previously stated 75-day comment guidelines.
On Friday, DOL said in a statement that “although the proposed rule included a 75-day comment period from the date of publication, the department has made clear that the opportunity for public input would not end after 75 days.”