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DOL Fiduciary News: February 13, 2017

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Trump's DOL fiduciary directive triggers chaos

InvestmentNews; Feb 12, 2017 @ 12:01 am

Some would say that less than a month into his presidency, Donald J. Trump has unleashed mayhem on the retirement advice industry; others would say he has saved it from a terrible mistake.

One thing everyone would agree on: All hell has broken loose.

“The world is upside down,” said Knut Rostad, president of the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard. “Uncertainty and ambiguity will be the watchwords of the day.”

Dallas judge in DOL fiduciary rule suit deals yet another blow to indexed annuities

InvestmentNews; Feb 10, 2017 @ 1:34 pm

The federal judge who this week dealt plaintiffs fighting the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule a stinging defeat also dealt a blow to indexed annuities, a product that has taken quite a beating since the DOL issued its final rule last spring.

The treatment of indexed annuities under the DOL's fiduciary rule was one of the stand-out stories for insurance industry observers when the agency issued its final rule.

FIA Distribution Could Turn into ‘Monopoly’

InsuranceNewsNet; February 10, 2017

An exemption allowing only the largest independent marketing organizations to sell fixed indexed annuities under the fiduciary rule threatens to create a “monopoly” of distributors. That was the word from an insurance company executive.

The fiduciary rule is “almost turning the FIA business into a monopoly because there will be fewer and fewer IMOs, if the rule goes through, that have the ability to be a financial institution than currently exists today.” That's according to Ted Johnson, chief financial officer of American Equity Investment Life, in a conference call with analysts.

What Trump's fight over retirement savings rules means for your nest egg; February 12, 2017

The Trump administration is working against an April 10 deadline to delay and alter a controversial Obama-era rule crafted to prevent conflicts of interests when brokers give you retirement advice.

The Department of Labor has reportedly requested a 180-day delay and wants to have another round of public comments after President Donald Trump ordered the department to review the regulation on Feb. 3.

‘Do not fear the fee’: Why advisers should discuss costs with clients

Financial Planning; February 09 2017, 7:40pm EST

The cost of planning matters less to clients than their advisers’ willingness to discuss the touchy subject with them, according to an IMCA training session.

“Do not fear the fee, ladies and gentlemen. Talk about it, not just once, talk about it often. They expect it and they want it,” John Hancock Investments National Sales Manager Andy McFetridge said during IMCA’s annual New York conference.

$4.7 Trillion 401(k) Market 'There for the Taking' for RIAs

ThinkAdvisor; February 9, 2017

No matter what happens to the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, RIAs have the opportunity to expand into 401(k) market, primarily for small businesses.

RIAs currently manage about 10% of the $4.7 trillion 401(k) market, when they could manage a lot more, said Skip Schweiss, who oversees TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Retirement Plan Services platform, citing data from the Investment Company Institute. 

He expects that opportunity will continue to exist for advisors even if the Labor Department’s rule, which requires that managers of 401(k) plans under $50 million be fiduciaries, is delayed or repealed.

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