Full compliance with the DOL fiduciary rule, which begins to take effect June 9 following a two-month delay, isn’t required until Jan. 1, 2018, but that date could be postponed as well.
According its latest Q&A on the fiduciary rule, the Labor Department is currently analyzing issues raised in a presidential memorandum, which led to the two-month delay, and intends to issue a Request for Information (RFI) “in the near future” that will, among other things, ask for public comment on whether “an additional delay” beyond Jan. 1 is needed.
(Related on ThinkAdvisor: DOL Fiduciary Deadline Is Coming. Here’s a Compliance Checklist)
The RFI will ask whether another delay ”would allow for more effective retirement assistance” and help firms avoid “needless expenses as they build … compliance structures that may ultimately be unnecessary” because of the DOL’s final decision on the issues raised by the presidential memo.
That memo asks the Labor Department to study whether the fiduciary rule reduces access to certain retirement offerings, disrupts the retirement advice industry in a way that may adversely affect investors or retirees or is likely to increase litigation and the prices investors pay to access retirement services.
A delay beyond Jan. 1 would also give mutual fund providers more time to develop products such as so-called clean shares – which have no distribution fees – that could help advisory firms comply with the fiduciary rule, according to the department.