Labor Secretary Thomas Perez signaled Friday that DOL is braced for legal challenges to its rule to amend the definition of fiduciary on retirement advice.
Perez, speaking at a Brookings Institution event in Washington about how retirement investment advice should be regulated, acknowledged that once the Department’s fiduciary rulemaking process under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act “reaches its conclusion,” other issues will “emerge,” and that DOL will move forward “thoughtfully and carefully” to address those concerns.
“This is not the first complex rulemaking that I’ve been involved with,” Perez told attendees at the Brookings event. “Our goal is to help everyone comply,” he said. DOL will “not engage in the gotcha game.”
Perez cited the recent challenge DOL faced against its final Home Health Care ruling to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to almost two million home care workers. Last June, associations of home care companies filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging DOL’s final rule. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 13 unanimously upheld DOL’s rulemaking.
Perez noted that throughout the time the home health care rule was being challenged, DOL “worked with stakeholders” on complying with the rule.
In his comments to attendees, Perez stated that DOL’s rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, “has been one of the longest rulemakings that I’ve been involved with.”
He noted the whopping 391,621 comments and petitions that came in during the conflict of interest rule’s comment period.