Industry officials agreed Tuesday that while there could likely be a delay in the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, outright repeal of the rule is unlikely, so advisors and broker-dealers should continue to get ready for the April compliance date.
“I think there will be some level of delay involved” in the rule’s implementation deadline, said Blaine Aikin, head of fi360, which provides fiduciary tools and education, “but it will go into effect, largely intact.”
Skip Schweiss, head of advisory advocacy at TD Ameritrade Institutional, agreed that a delay could be in the offing, but doubts the rule is “dead.” The DOL fiduciary rule “is final,” he said on a panel with Aikin at the MarketCounsel Summit in Miami Beach. “To undo the rule would require a new rulemaking. While I do think a delay is likely, I don’t see a flat-out repeal. Maybe delay by a modified rule [via] a deal in Washington.”
Even a delay, Schweiss continued, requires a new rulemaking, with a new Labor secretary having to be nominated and then confirmed by the Senate. “There’s 80 days between the Jan. 20 [presidential] inauguration date and the [DOL rule’s] April 10 compliance date. Not a lot. We likely aren’t going to know about some sort of delay, at minimum, by February or March.”
Schweiss warned that firms calling a “time out” on their compliance with the rule are “taking a real risk with your business.”