Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said Monday that Labor will not delay the fiduciary rule’s June 9 compliance date while the department seeks public input on the rule as laid out in President Donald Trump’s Feb. 3 memorandum.
“The Labor Department has concluded that it is necessary to seek additional public input on the entire fiduciary rule, and we will do so,” Acosta said in a Monday op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
“We have carefully considered the record in this case, and the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, and have found no principled legal basis to change the June 9 date while we seek public input,” Acosta wrote. “Respect for the rule of law leads us to the conclusion that this date cannot be postponed. Trust in Americans’ ability to decide what is best for them and their families leads us to the conclusion that we should seek public comment on how to revise this rule.”
Under the Obama administration, Acosta continued, “the Securities and Exchange Commission declined to move forward in rulemaking. Yet the SEC has critical expertise in this area. I hope in this administration the SEC will be a full participant.”
The same day, the Labor Department issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2017-02 instituting a temporary enforcement policy, which states that Labor “is actively engaging in a careful analysis” of the issues raised in the president’s memorandum.
Also released by the Department Monday is frequently-asked-questions guidance regarding the rule’s transition period.
“It is possible, based on the results of the examination, that additional changes will be proposed to the fiduciary duty rule and [prohibited transaction exemptions],” the field assistance bulletin states.