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DOL Fiduciary News: January 16, 2017

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DOL encourages investors to ask advisers if they are fiduciaries

InvestmentNews; Jan 13, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

Investors should press their financial advisers about whether the advisers are fiduciaries, how much they charge and whether they get paid more based on the investments they recommend, the Labor Department said Friday.

In a 16-page document (FAQS ON YOUR RIGHTS AND FINANCIAL ADVISERS) posted on the DOL website, the agency provided a litany of questions for investors to pursue with their advisers based on the requirements of an investment advice rule that will be implemented beginning in April.

The DOL also posted Friday a 17-page document (CONFLICT OF INTEREST FAQS) containing 35 questions on technical compliance topics that have been raised by financial firms. They cover how investment advice is defined in various interactions with clients and the difference between advice and education, among other areas.

These frequently asked questions follow a set of FAQs released Oct. 27 that focused on prohibited transaction exemptions.

DOL fiduciary rule could be halted ‘within days’ of inauguration; January 13, 2017

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule could be delayed “within days” of the new administration through action taken by Labor, instructions from the White House, or pending court cases, David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, said Wednesday. “There’s no one mechanism to achieve delay” in the rule’s implementation.

Changes coming to 401(k) call centers [fiduciary rule]; January 13, 2017

Come April, when the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule is scheduled for the first of two implementation dates, what recordkeepers allow call center representatives to say to 401(k) participants will be subject to vast new regulations and potential legal and competitive liability.

How to Get Financial Advice That Is in Your Best Interest

New York Times; Jan. 13, 2017

In April, financial advisers for the first time will be required to put retirement investors’ best interests first.

But there is a catch. The new requirement, known as a fiduciary rule, was imposed by the Labor Department during the Obama administration, and could be blocked by the Trump administration or congressional action before it takes effect.

With its fate uncertain, investors can still protect their interests, by exercising vigilance, finding advisers who will act as fiduciaries, and understanding the issues involved in the first place. (

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