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In Reversal, DOL Will Hold Hearing on Fiduciary Rule

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Labor Department headquarters in Washington. (Photo: Mike Scarcella/ALM) Labor Department headquarters in Washington. (Photo: Mike Scarcella/ALM)

The Labor Department plans to hold a hearing on its proposed fiduciary rule that aims to align with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest, according to a notice in the Federal Register.

A Labor spokesperson confirmed to ThinkAdvisor in a late Friday afternoon email message that a hearing is planned.

The notice states that Labor intends to hold the hearing on Sept. 3 and, if necessary, Sept 4.

Sen. Patty Murray, ranking member on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, asked Labor on July 14 to hold a hearing, but was denied that request by Joe Wheeler, deputy assistant secretary for Labor, on Aug. 6.

Wheeler told Murray that Labor “believes that a public hearing is unnecessary” for the proposed class exemption, as it’s “much narrower in scope” than the vacated fiduciary rule.

Murray said a day after that she was “incredibly frustrated that the Trump administration is charging ahead so recklessly with a proposal that could lead to retirement savers losing billions of dollars a year due to conflicted advice.”

There is no reason, Murray continued, “for the Department to rush this process when so many stakeholders have been clear they want more time to raise their concerns, and seemingly no grounds for Secretary [Eugene] Scalia to move forward on some of these proposals without a hearing as required by law.”