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DOL Fiduciary News: July 8, 2016

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DOL clarifies that insurance firms qualify for best-interest contract exemption under fiduciary rule

InvestmentNews; July 7, 2016 @ 4:59 pm

The Labor Department has clarified that insurance firms can qualify for an exemption provided in a regulation that raises investment advice standards for retirement accounts.

The agency made 13 technical corrections to the rule, which were posted on the Federal Register website Thursday.

One of the changes deleted six words that had caused confusion about whether insurance firms could use the so-called best-interest contract exemption.
(http://www.investmentnews.com)

Insurance-based broker-dealers plan to use BICE under DOL fiduciary rule

InvestmentNews; July 7, 2016 @ 1:44 pm

Insurance companies with affiliated broker-dealer networks are slowly coming out of their hibernation phase that followed release of the Labor Department's final fiduciary rule in early April, with some announcing plans to comply with portions of the regulatory text.

Specifically, insurers such as Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., Lincoln National Corp., Primerica Inc. and Ameriprise Financial Inc. have noted or strongly hinted at intent to use a part of the rule called the best interest contract exemption (BICE), which exposes firms to extra compliance requirements and litigation risk.
(http://www.investmentnews.com)

Court date set for lawsuit against DOL fiduciary rule

InvestmentNews; July 7, 2016 @ 4:34 pm

A court date has been set for Market Synergy Group Inc.'s lawsuit targeting a Labor Department regulation raising investment advice standards in retirement accounts.

A motion hearing is scheduled for Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. before District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree, according to a July 6 filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
(http://www.investmentnews.com)

House spending bill includes provision to kill DOL fiduciary rule

InvestmentNews; July 7, 2016 @ 12:25 pm

House lawmakers approved a spending bill Thursday that included a provision to kill a Labor Department regulation to raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts.

The move demonstrates that opponents of the rule are not giving up on legislative attempts to quash it.
(http://www.investmentnews.com)

Inside John Hancock's big IBD bet

Financial Planning; July 06 2016, 1:10pm EDT

Others may see a clouded outlook for the turbulent independent broker-dealer market, but John Hancock Financial Network is making a big bet on a bright future.

"In five years the IBD space will look totally different than it does today, and we want to be part of that opportunity," says Brian Heapps, president of John Hancock Financial Network.

The regulatory burden of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, the continual decline of commission-based business, the accelerating need for scale and state of the art technology, an aging adviser population and the oncoming wave of millennial clients are all converging to transform the IBD business "very quickly," Heapps says.
(http://www.financial-planning.com)

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