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DOL Fiduciary News: March 6, 2017

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DOL Rule to Render Product Sales Secondary: Speaker [conference coverage]

InsuranceNewsNet; March 3, 2017

The Department of Labor fiduciary rule will usher in a new era in which product sales will be secondary to the advice process.

That was the word from David Macchia, CEO of Wealth2k. Macchia's presentation on "DOL: The Silver Lining" concluded the 2017 LIMRA Distribution Conference in Ft. Lauderdale.

The DOL rule creates an urgency for simplification and transparency in the retirement planning process, he said. Clients must truly understand what they are buying.

New Class of Mutual Fund Shares in Limbo as ‘Fiduciary’ Rule Is Delayed 

The Wall Street Journal; March 5, 2017 12:53 p.m. ET

The delay of a rule that tightens standards on brokerages’ retirement-savings advice is disrupting efforts to roll out a new class of mutual-fund shares designed to comply with the regulation.

Work to create these transaction or “T” shares has been delayed or suspended while the Labor Department reviews the rule for repeal or revision, according to some brokerage firms familiar with fund managers’ efforts surrounding the shares.

Is there any saving the fiduciary rule?

Financial Planning; March 06 2017, 5:00am EST

Can fiduciary advocates preserve what they see as an important investor protection before the Trump administration rescinds it?

Advisers, whether pro- or anti-fiduciary rule, may be forgiven for thinking that the regulation's fate was already settled. It isn't.

While the rule's opponents, backed by an administration generally hostile to regulation, appear to have the momentum, nothing is final. The Department of Labor hasn't even officially delayed the rule's implementation, having only proposed such a move in order to complete a review of the regulation. And President Trump has yet to publicly mention the words “fiduciary rule.”

ERISA Attorneys Busy Analyzing Fiduciary Rule Delay

PLANSPONSOR.COM | March 03, 2017

During any transition of presidential power between the two predominant American political parties, there is bound to be some operational friction.

The status of the Department of Labor (DOL) clearly demonstrates just how bumpy the transition can be when a wide gulf in policy objectives exists between the former and current president—as is clearly the case with former President Obama and his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump. Nothing embodies the challenge of transition better than the ongoing fight to “repeal” the strict conflict of interest rules implemented late in Obama’s tenure, with compliance deadlines extending well into President Trump’s current term.

DOL removes consumer FAQs on fiduciary rule from its website

InvestmentNews; Mar 3, 2017 @ 5:20 pm

The Department of Labor has removed from its website a consumer-oriented document related to the agency's fiduciary rule.

The document was in the form of answers to frequently asked questions called "Consumer Protections for Retirement Investors – FAQs on Your Rights and Financial Advisers."

The FAQs, issued on Jan. 13, provide numerous questions for investors to pursue with their advisers based on the requirements of the DOL fiduciary rule, which raises investment-advice standards in retirement accounts.

Prospects of fiduciary rule taking root slowly fading

Pensions & Investments | MARCH 6, 2017

The landmark fiduciary rule is being delayed until early June, with the prospect of indefinite limbo increasingly likely.

“What this means to plan sponsors is that they don't have to rush,” said Lynn Dudley, senior vice president of global retirement and compensation policy for the American Benefits Council in Washington.

Sponsors and service providers have been reviewing and adjusting their compliance processes ahead of the rule's original deadline of April 10, with more monitoring of fund menus, costs and interactions between defined contribution participants and service providers. That all takes time, Ms. Dudley said.

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