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DOL Fiduciary News: April 15, 2016

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For annuity compensation, finalized DOL rule may not be final; April 17, 2016

Come April 2017, when advisors to 401(k) sponsors and IRA accounts recommend fixed indexed and variable annuities to retirement savers, they’ll do so under the Best Interest Contract Exemption, the provision of the Department of Labor’s finalized fiduciary rule that will make those advisors legally beholden to do what is in savers’ best interests.

In subjecting FIAs and VAs to the BIC exemption, the DOL singled out the products for their “risks and complexities,” according to language in the finalized fiduciary rule.

Participant Education Delivery May Change with Final Fiduciary Rule 

PLANSPONSOR; April 14, 2016

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) final fiduciary rule includes a number of highly anticipated changes from the version proposed in 2015, including greater flexibility for providing education materials to retirement plan sponsors in a non-fiduciary manner.

Craig Howell, vice president of business development at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, a recordkeeper specializing in the micro-plan market, tells PLANADVISER this was a key change in the fiduciary rule language, one which he feels “has a lot of bearing on the mid- and long-term future of our industry.”

Fiduciary Rule Roils Sales Channels 

InsuranceNewsNet; April 14, 2016

Advisors still have a year before they must follow the code of fiduciary conduct for retirement accounts required by the last week’s Department of Labor’s rule. But there’s no doubt that changes in the regulations governing compensation will affect how and what distributors decide to sell.

And don’t forget that the Conflict of Interest rule doesn’t eliminate commissions, bonus trips, trail fees, revenue sharing and other “conflicted compensation,” so long as the advisors comply with prohibited transaction exemptions to continue to receive commission.
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Morgan Stanley creating team to educate brokers on U.S. retirement advice rule 

Reuters; Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:52pm EDT

Morgan Stanley is creating a team to educate its financial advisers about a new U.S. rule intended to protect retirement savers, a bank spokesman confirmed on Thursday.

The bank has formed a so-called Fiduciary Standard Help Desk made up of more than 10 employees who will answer calls and questions that its financial advisers may have about the rule, according to a job posting on the bank's website.

After DoL Rule, SEC Inches Toward Uniform Fiduciary Standard

Financial Planning, April 13, 2016

Now that the Department of Labor has issued its final rule on fiduciary advice in the retirement sector, is the SEC going to follow suit and press ahead with its own fiduciary regulation?

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