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DOL Fiduciary News: March 20, 2017

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40 Democratic Lawmakers Call DOL Fiduciary Rule Delay ‘Careless’

ThinkAdvisor; March 17, 2017

Forty Democratic members of Congress told the Labor Department on Friday not to delay by 60 days the April 10 compliance date for its fiduciary rule, arguing in concert that such a delay is “careless” and is being fueled by the Trump administration’s “duplicative analysis” of the rule’s potential impact.

“It is unacceptable that now – roughly a month before implementation of the final rule is scheduled to begin – the DOL is carelessly proposing to delay it,” wrote Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee; Bobby Scott, D-Va., ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce; and Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Despite uncertainty, Department of Labor fiduciary rule upends 401(k) biz

InvestmentNews; Mar 19, 2017 @ 12:01 am

Even though its fate is unclear, the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is upending the retirement plan adviser market, which spans the adviser spectrum from "dabblers" to defined contribution "specialists."

Observers say such changes began taking root prior to the promulgation of the rule last year but are being accelerated by the DOL regulation.

"The fiduciary rule has created a catalyst that has changed people's time frame," said Troy Hammond, president and CEO of Pensionmark Financial Group, with $40 billion in DC assets. "It's why we have this compression of activity."

Asset managers focus on SEC compliance over DoL rule

Financial Planning; March 17 2017, 3:43pm EDT

Convinced that the Labor Department's fiduciary rule will be derailed, asset managers are focusing instead on meeting the SEC's new reporting modernization rules, according to industry executives attending the latest Investment Company Institute conference in Palm Desert, California.

"Based on meetings here [the sentiment is] that the proposed DoL fiduciary rule is unlikely to pass in its current state, as it is currently postponed," says Stephanie Miller, senior vice president of fund administration business at SS&C Technologies.

Miller notes in her discussions with management executives at the ICI Mutual Funds and Investment Management conference, she heard a willingness to cut losses on DoL compliance spending.

Plan sponsors want help with DOL fiduciary duties

InvestmentNews; Mar 19, 2017 @ 12:01 am

Plan sponsors worry about participants suing over inferior investment choices or high fees. At the same time, they're anxious about the Labor Department or Internal Revenue Service finding fault with their plan design or processes. They want advisers who are experts on the intricacies of the laws governing retirement plans, as well as a partner to share the stressful liability.

"I'm looking for some [cover] on my fiduciary responsibilities," said Jim Richardson, financial analyst and plan administrator for Diversicare Healthcare Services Inc., a nursing home company with a $28 million 401(k) plan. "I need them to keep me apprised of what's in the pipeline of what's coming down from the DOL."

Regulation among Many Changes Insurers Face [IRI Marketing Summit]

InsuranceNewsNet; March 19, 2017

CHICAGO -- Advisors are wandering the valley of uncertainty between the fiduciary issue, Department of Labor and beyond, and the difficulty of developing new business.

Punishing regulatory pressure is at a pause with the Republican party controlling Congress and the White House. Still, Democrats are not giving in without a fight on the fearsome fiduciary rule.

And maintaining a reasonable customer base is tough enough these days, let alone growing it. Surveys consistently show strong customer satisfaction with life insurance and annuity products, but reaching new customers is proving elusive.

Industry Representatives: Delay Gives Needed Time to Review DOL Fiduciary Rule

Best's News Service via Bestwire -- March 17, 2017 04:40 PM

WASHINGTON -- Trade representatives support a 60-day delay of the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule deadline that will give the department more time to remake or nullify the new mandates, which critics say will upend the retirement advice industry.

The rule would postpone the current April 10 deadline until June 9 and is part of the Trump administration’s effort to roll back the fiduciary rule that was initiated by the DOL under President Barack Obama.

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