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DOL Fiduciary News: July 26, 2017

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Despite possible fiduciary delay, important compliance requirements remain; July 25, 2017

The Labor Department will more than likely propose fundamental changes to the fiduciary rule and its prohibited transaction exemptions, resulting in a delay of full implementation of the controversial regulation for at least one year, and perhaps longer, according to attorneys with Drinker Biddle & Reath.

Proposed revisions to the rule will be subject to public comment and other administrative requirements, as the Labor Department is committed to strictly following the letter of the law to avoid legal challenges, explained attorneys from the firm during a recent webinar.

While both a delay of the January 1, 2018 full implementation date and revisions to the rule would be welcomed by stakeholders that view the existing regulation as onerous, the attorneys cautioned that brokers and advisors to 401(k) plans have key compliance requirements under the existing transition period for the rule, which began June 9.

Piwowar pushes DOL to work with SEC on fiduciary rule; Tuesday, July 25, 2017 5:18 PM ET

Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Michael Piwowar is calling for the Labor Department to "redouble its efforts" to work with the agency on its fiduciary rule.

In a letter addressed to Labor Deputy Assistant Secretary Timothy Hauser, Piwowar aired several concerns regarding the existing fiduciary rule, which went into partial effect June 9 and is slated for full implementation Jan. 1, 2018.

"The fiduciary rule will have a dramatic impact on the provision of financial services to retail clients throughout the financial services industry," Piwowar wrote.

The fiduciary rule was aimed at ending possible conflicts of interest in the sale of retirement and investment products. The rule has been the subject of continued attacks both before and after its rollout, with a number of industry participants calling for the SEC to become the primary regulator of fiduciaries.

Sen. Gary Peters brings broker background to work every day on Capitol Hill [fiduciary rule]

InvestmentNews; July 25, 2017 @ 2:46 pm

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., has always had some concerns about the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, but that doesn't mean he wants to see the Trump administration rip it up and start over.

Mr. Peters' position represents the challenge financial industry opponents have in winning over Democrats to support legislation moving in the House that would kill the regulation. That bill and a similar measure introduced by Sen. Johnny Iskason, R-Ga., would require the votes of eight Senate Democrats to overcome a filibuster.

But Mr. Peters, a former broker, has qualms about eliminating the rule that was partially implemented in June. It is now undergoing a DOL review directed by President Donald J. Trump that could result in changes.

"We have to deal with the reality of what we have now," Mr. Peters, 58, said in an interview with InvestmentNews. "We have a rule in place. I don't want ideology to drive the debate."

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