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DOL Extends Fiduciary Rule Compliance Date, Including Rollover Advice

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What You Need to Know

  • Labor extended the non-enforcement policy on its fiduciary rule to Jan. 31.
  • Labor further extended the requirement for providing the specific reasons that justify a rollover recommendation.
  • Financial institutions have expressed concern that they would incur significant additional distribution costs if the Dec. 20 compliance date wasn't extended.

Bowing to industry pressure, the Labor Department on Monday extended the non-enforcement policy on its fiduciary rule to Jan. 31.

Also, Labor “further extended the requirement for providing the ‘specific reasons’ that justify a rollover recommendation” until June 30, explained Fred Reish, partner at Faegre Drinker’s Los Angeles office, in a Monday email to ThinkAdvisor.

Labor said in announcing the extension in a field assistance bulletin that it understands that the Dec. 20, 2021, expiration date of the temporary enforcement policy “poses practical difficulties for financial institutions that are in the process of complying with the exemption conditions. Specifically, financial institutions have expressed concern that they would incur significant additional distribution costs, because the Dec. 20, 2021, expiration date does not align with their regular distribution cycle for disclosures.”

Industry trade groups have been urging the Labor Department to extend the Dec. 20 compliance date for its fiduciary advice rule. The Biden administration allowed the Trump administration’s fiduciary prohibited advice exemption, or PTE, to go into effect in mid-February.

More on this topic

The regulation, called “Improving Investment Advice for Worker & Retirees,” is “broadly aligned” with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest, according to EBSA.

However, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said in mid-June that Labor plans to issue a new proposed rulemaking to update the definition of “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. That proposal could come by December.

Lisa Gomez, President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, told senators on Oct. 7 that “there’s nothing that is more central to ERISA than defining who is a fiduciary.”

In comments during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Gomez — who will be central in helping Labor craft a new fiduciary rule — said that if confirmed, she looks forward to working with the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as with Labor “to be briefed on the efforts of looking at the definition of a fiduciary in different contexts, and taking another look at the conflict of interest rule and how it would apply in different situations.”