DOL Proposes Additional Fiduciary Rule Delays

SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed additional delays to its fiduciary rule that would extend certain transition period deadlines and applicability dates to July 1, 2019. DOL said the 18-month extension is necessary for it to consider possible changes to controversial exemptions and to ease compliance burdens on regulated parties.

DOL announced the proposal shortly after issuing its second set of transition period guidance under the fiduciary rule.

The fiduciary rule broadens those parties considered fiduciaries under ERISA because they provide investment advice for a fee. After uncertainty and delay, the fiduciary rule went into effect on June 9, 2017. Although the new definition of fiduciary investment advice now applies in its entirety, DOL provided a transition period for most of the substantive requirements of the rule’s new Principal Transactions Exemptions. During a transition period from June 9, 2017 through January 1, 2018, a fiduciary need only satisfy the so-called “impartial conduct standards” to qualify for the transition relief.

If finalized, DOL’s proposed amendments would extend by 18 months to July 1, 2019, the transition period deadline. In the meantime, DOL said it would continue to work on the regulatory analysis mandated by President Trump’s February 3, 2017 memorandum to evaluate possible changes and alternatives to the exemptions.