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DOL Fiduciary News: February 6, 2018

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DOL, SEC Fiduciary Rules Likely in Fall

ThinkAdvisor; February 5, 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Labor Department will likely release simultaneously in the fall their fiduciary rule proposals, prominent ERISA attorneys say.

Fall “is a reasonable estimate,” said Brad Campbell, former head of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, who’s now counsel with Drinker Biddle & Reath, during the firm’s recent Inside the Beltway webcast.

“If you assume that they [Labor] needs to complete their changes by July 2019, which is when the deferred provisions of the current exemptions – the most onerous parts” of Labor’s fiduciary rule take effect, fall “really is the deadline for action by DOL.”

In fact, both Labor and the SEC “need to have their new plans in place and moving by that timeframe to avoid further conflict and problems in how their rules work,” Campbell argued.

DOL would need to put out a proposal by the fall detailing “changes it wants to make in order to provide enough time for the comment period, which would be at least 60 days, [and] to then work through the comments and come up with a final rule and publish them by roughly July.”

Fred Reish, partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath in Los Angeles, agreed that he sees Labor acting in “coordination” with the SEC. “As a result, the timing of the releases of new proposals may be the same for each.” 

Eight brokerage firms urge CFP Board to delay new fiduciary standards

InvestmentNews; Feb 5, 2018 @ 2:06 pm

Eight major brokerage firms are calling on the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to halt its effort to raise the investment-advice requirement attached to the designation until the Securities and Exchange Commission proposes its own standard.

Last month, the CFP Board released a second draft of revisions to the standards of conduct attached to the mark.

In a Feb. 2 comment letter, Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, LPL Financial, RBC Wealth Management US, Wells Fargo Advisors, Edward Jones, UBS Financial Services Inc. and AXA Advisors, said the CFP Board should stand down until the SEC acts.

The agency is planning to propose its own fiduciary rule this year.

"There is no compelling reason why the revised proposal should move forward at this particular juncture," the firms wrote. "Given the almost inevitability of inconsistencies between the revised proposal and the SEC's forthcoming rulemaking, we are requesting that, in order to best achieve its investor protection goals, CFP Board wait to see what the SEC proposes rather than adding to the growing patchwork of standards of care."

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