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DOL Fiduciary Rule Likely Coming Wednesday

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The Department of Labor plans to release Wednesday its final rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, sources reached by ThinkAdvisor said Friday.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., along with Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will announce Wednesday the completion of DOL’s conflict of interest rule at the Center for American Progress in Washington.

DOL must first release its rule to the Federal Register, which will likely be on Tuesday. Copies of the rule would be available at the Federal Register the next day. DOL’s final rule will likely be available on DOL’s website by Friday, April 8.

Steve Saxon, chairman of Groom Law Group and a vocal opponent of DOL’s rule, says that Perez will announce completion of the rule at the Center for American Progress, a policy institute that describes itself as progressive, as “it helps him launch it within the framework of friendly confines,” much like the administration did in endorsing DOL’s rule last year at AARP.

Saxon hopes Perez will say that a “follow-up” dialogue between DOL and the industry will be “implemented quickly so that folks can get guidance on some critical questions.”

Perez told members of the House Education and Workforce Committee in mid-March that DOL listened to the overwhelming number of concerns raised during the comment period, and said that DOL would “continue to work” on the rule.

Perez noted at the mid-March hearing the lengthy comment period the rule underwent.

“Our North Star is an enforceable best interest standard,” Perez told lawmakers, stating that DOL “has read every one of” the 300,000 comments that came in on the proposed rule.

Perez also told the lawmakers that he looked forward “to explaining the changes we made and how we intend to proceed.”

Warren asked Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White Thursday to investigate whether financial services companies violated securities laws by making contradictory statements to investors about the DOL’s forthcoming fiduciary rule.

— Check out The Fiduciary Standard Is Far From Enough on ThinkAdvisor.


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