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DOL Fiduciary News: October 11, 2016

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Thrivent suit against DOL pits ERISA vs. Federal Arbitration Act; October 10, 2016

A sixth lawsuit against the Department of Labor, brought by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, is not trying to block the fiduciary rule.

In fact, the lawsuit, unlike the other claims against the DOL, does not even challenge the “validity” of the rule, according to Thrivent’s complaint. Thrivent is a non-profit fraternal benefit society that provides financial services and insurance products to 2.5 million Christians across the country.

All Thrivent is asking of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota is for relief from the provision of the rule’s Best Interest Contract Exemption that prohibits class-action waivers in the contracts.

DTCC to Launch New Fiduciary Insurance Profile Service

PLANADVISER; October 10, 2016

Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) is seeking regulatory approval for a new Insurance Profile solution that will facilitate annuity industry compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule.

According to DTCC, the Insurance Profile service provides carriers and distributors with a centralized, automated and standardized method to satisfy disclosure requirements under the significant disclosure and conflict of interest reforms. 

A.M. BestTV: Fiduciary Rule Impacting Variable Annuities, Said A.M. Best Analyst

October 10, 2016 02:11 PM EDT

OLDWICK, N.J. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In this A.M.BestTV episode, Edward Kohlberg, associate director, A.M. Best, said that the Department of Labor's looming fiduciary rule changes have a role in the recent shifting of annuity sales. Click on to view the entire program.

A.M. Best recently released a report that looks at the position of the variable annuity market, which states that variable annuity sales were down.

Merrill's move to end commission IRAs a 'tectonic shift' for brokerage industry

InvestmentNews; Oct 7, 2016 @ 1:04 pm

Merrill Lynch's decision to shutter its commission IRA business in response to the Labor Department's fiduciary rule could signal a sea change in the brokerage industry, and could push Merrill brokers reliant on commissions to find another home, according to industry observers.

“I think the Department of Labor regulatory initiative is a game changer in the industry, and we are going to see more tectonic shifts,” Marcia Wagner, principal at The Wagner Law Group, said.

Merrill on Thursday became the first of the wirehouses to announce compliance plans with the DOL fiduciary rule, which raises standards for providing investment advice in retirement accounts.

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