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DOL Fiduciary News: September 27, 2017

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SEC's Clayton says agency is 'pushing' toward a fiduciary rule, working with DOL

InvestmentNews; Sep 26, 2017 @ 2:24 pm

For the past week, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton has had his hands full dealing with cybersecurity, following the agency's disclosure of a breach that may have led to illegal trading. But he told lawmakers on Tuesday that investment advice regulation remains a top priority.

Mr. Clayton's appearance before the Senate Banking Committee mostly focused on the attack on the SEC's corporate filing system. Republican and Democrats criticized the agency for waiting more than a year before revealing that the intrusion had occurred.

But there also was bipartisan interest in the SEC's work on a rule to raise investment advice standards for brokers and its efforts to catch up with the Department of Labor, whose own fiduciary rule for retirement accounts partially went into effect in June. The DOL has proposed delaying the Jan. 1 applicability date for the enforcement mechanisms of the regulation for 18 months, while it conducts a review of the rule directed by President Donald J. Trump that may lead to revisions.

"Everything can't be a priority. This is a priority for me," Mr. Clayton said of a potential SEC fiduciary rule. "We're pushing this one. This is the top of my list in that area [the Division of Investment Management] of the commission."

DOL Panel: Harmonize or Sing the Blues [IRI annual conference]

InsuranceNewsNet; September 25, 2017

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The financial executives speaking about the fiduciary standard on an Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) panel joined in what could be considered three-part harmony.

They said that the best future for annuities and investing is in agencies getting together to create one standard now that the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule has been hobbled by the Trump administration.

In fact, a harmonized fiduciary standard has been a recurring theme in the run-up to and throughout the opening of IRI's 2017 annual meeting.

The association, among others, is looking primarily to the Securities and Exchange Commission to step in with rules that would cross insurance and financial lines. The SEC was empowered by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law to consider building such a regulation.

Fiduciary Rule Could Lead to ‘Radical’ Change in Annuity Thinking [IRI annual conference]

InsuranceNewsNet; September 25, 2017

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The delay in the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has offered a window for the annuity industry to reconnect with lawmakers and consumers, insurance executives said Monday.

Simplifying the way advisors, insurers and industry leaders communicate about guaranteed income products could lead to a “radical” change in the way people think about annuities, said Barry Stowe, chairman and CEO of Jackson National Life.

“We need to get out of our own way, and simplify the explanation of what we do,” Stowe said.

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