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DOL Fiduciary News: February 3, 2017

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Trump to Order Review of Dodd-Frank, Halt Obama Fiduciary Rule

Bloomberg; February 3, 2017, 3:16 AM EST

President Donald Trump will order a sweeping review of the Dodd-Frank Act rules enacted in response to the 2008 financial crisis, a White House official said, signing an executive action Friday designed to significantly scale back the regulatory system put in place in 2010.

Trump also will halt another of former President Barack Obama’s regulations, hated by the financial industry, that requires advisers on retirement accounts to work in the best interests of their clients. Trump’s order will give the new administration time to review the change, known as the fiduciary rule.

Trump Moves to Kill off Obama’s Landmark Retirement Rule

The Wall Street Journal; Feb. 3, 2017 8:18 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump has begun killing off an Obama-era retirement-savings rule unpopular with Republicans and some financial-industry executives who say it would harm consumers more than help.

The so-called fiduciary rule, six years in the making and unveiled by the Labor Department last spring, holds brokers and advisers who work with tax-advantaged retirement savings to a fiduciary standard as opposed to the previous suitability standard. That means they must work in the best interest of their clients and generally avoid conflicts, which can come about with the commission-based compensation common among brokers and insurance agents.

While a memorandum from Mr. Trump gives the Labor Department discretion over whether to revise or rescind the rule, it puts off the April 10 implementation deadline and prevents the rule from taking effect.

Lincoln National sees potential DOL rule delay as positive for annuities; Thursday, February 02, 2017 1:02 PM ET

Lincoln National Corp. executives think a delay of the Department of Labor's Conflict of Interest Rule could ease some of the pressure on the company's annuity business.

A delay and adjustments to the DOL rule could eliminate some marketplace uncertainty contributing to weaker annuity sales, President and CEO Dennis Glass said during a Feb. 2 earnings call. Shifting consumer preferences are also causing the annuity market to recalibrate as it trends away from commission-based products, he added. Glass said Lincoln National "refreshed" its fee-based annuity products in January and expects them to provide key long-term growth.

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