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DOL Fiduciary News: January 12, 2017

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IMO Exemption Rule Out Next Week, OMB Says

InsuranceNewsNet; January 11, 2017

The Office of Management and Budget hopes to publish a crucial exemption that would permit independent marketing organizations to sell under the new fiduciary rule by the end of next week.

OMB wants the exemption enabling IMOs to serve as financial institutions published by the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, said an attorney close to the proceedings.

“My reading of the tea leaves is that the DOL will move heaven and earth to get it out of OMB and get it published by Jan. 20, but then what happens to it who knows,” said Bruce Ashton, a lawyer with the firm Drinker Biddle & Reath, which represents many IMOs before the DOL.

Bill to delay fiduciary rule not expected to get immediate attention; January 11, 2017

Industry stakeholders would be wise to temper hopes that introduced legislation to delay implementation of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule will be addressed quickly, according to one veteran industry advocate.

The Protecting American Families’ Retirement Advice Act, introduced by Rep. Joseph Wilson, R-SC, last week, would move the implementation date for the rule to two years after passage of the bill. The first implementation date is scheduled for April 10.

Chamber CEO: Trump Should Void Fiduciary Rule Immediately

Financial Advisor; January 11, 2017

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue said Wednesday President-elect Donald Trump should void the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule immediately after taking office.

Barbara Roper, director of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America, responded in a tweet that if Trump did that, it would be a violation of federal law.

The chamber was one of the first to file suit against the regulation last year.

Only a Fraction of Advisors Prepared for DOL Rule, Assessment Says

Financial Advisor; January 11, 2017

A lot of financial advisors will be scrambling in the next couple of months if they want to meet the April 10 deadline for the implementation of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule because only 5 percent are ready now, AssetMark says.

AssetMark, a firm that provides support for advisors, says a minority of advisors are prepared for the change and only 2 percent have a formal plan to comply with the rule, which requires a fiduciary standard be met for retirement accounts.

DOL fiduciary rule hastening death of L-share variable annuities

InvestmentNews; Jan 11, 2017 @ 1:34 pm

The specter of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is accelerating the demise of L-share variable annuities.

Variable annuities sold in an L-share class had already been reeling prior to the DOL issuing the final version of its conflict-of-interest rule last year, due to a crackdown on L-share sales by brokerage regulators.

But insurance companies in 2016 hastened the shuttering of such variable annuity products as demand for their distribution dried up and their future continued to look bleak.

RIAs could be ultimate winners if DOL fiduciary rule is repealed or delayed

InvestmentNews; Jan 11, 2017 @ 12:42 pm

As potential delays and road blocks pile up in front the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, an irony is emerging in that the strongest supporters of the rule could benefit the most from the rule's demise.

Independent registered investment advisers, which have largely supported from the start the idea of requiring fiduciary responsibility when managing retirement account assets, could be set up for a big win if the rule fades away or falls way behind the April enactment schedule.

Hearing delayed for Trump's nominee for DOL, Andrew Puzder; January 12, 2017

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee has delayed the confirmation hearing of Andrew Puzder, President-elect Trump’s nominee to head the Labor Department.

Late Monday night, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN, chair of the HELP Committee, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA, ranking member of the committee, announced that the confirmation hearing of Mr. Trump’s nomination to lead the Education Department, Betsy DeVos, has been moved to January 17th, when Puzder’s hearing was tentatively scheduled.

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