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DOL Fiduciary News: July 12, 2016

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Justice Dept. Defends DOL Fiduciary Rule

ThinkAdvisor; July 11, 2016

The U.S. Justice Department is urging a Washington federal judge to reject a challenge to a sweeping new rule that requires investment advisors to work in their clients' best interests — a heightened standard aimed at protecting retirement savers from billions of dollars in fees.

The National Association for Fixed Annuities, represented by a team from Bryan Cave, sued the U.S. Labor Department in June. The complaint alleges ( that the DOL strayed outside its authority in abandoning a 40-year-old regulatory framework for retirement advice — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Broker-dealers eye level commissions to reduce risk under DOL fiduciary rule

InvestmentNews; July 11, 2016 @ 12:27 pm

Broker-dealer executives are strongly considering a strategy whereby investment products with similar characteristics would have the same commission schedule as a way to reduce risk under a new Labor Department rule that raises investment advice standards in retirement accounts.

While the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule allows brokerage firms and their advisers to receive forms of variable compensation, such as 12b-1 fees and commissions, some executives want to make commission payouts as similar as possible among like products to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest when an adviser makes an investment recommendation.

More Fees, Fewer Commissions for VAs

Financial Advisor; July 11, 2016

Advisors may soon have more fee-based variable annuities to offer clients.

Until now, most VAs were sold on a commission basis, according to Jack Marrion, a research fellow at Webster University in St. Louis, Mo., and CEO of Advantage Compendium, a research and consulting firm that specializes in annuities. But the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule, which extends fiduciary standards to retirement accounts, is making retirement plan providers, broker-dealers and advisors take a second look at their offerings and how they charge for them.

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