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DOL Fiduciary News: March 1, 2017

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Delay of DOL fiduciary rule faces new challenges

InvestmentNews; Feb 28, 2017 @ 2:57 pm

Delaying the implementation date of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule became a more challenging proposition Tuesday.

The Office of Management and Budget concluded its review of the delay proposal but did not approve it yet, sending it back to DOL with an important change. The delay itself is now deemed "economically significant" (, meaning the DOL must provide an analysis of the economic impact of the delay. When the agency submitted the delay proposal, it said the delay was not economically significant.

It was not immediately clear whether the change in status of the delay will push it beyond the April 10 implementation date of the DOL rule, which requires all financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients in retirement accounts.

OMB Pushback Endangers DOL Fiduciary Rule Delay 

Insurance NewsNet; February 28, 2017

The Office of Management and Budget found the controversial Department of Labor fiduciary rule to be “economically significant” in a review completed Monday, a finding that puts a rule delay in doubt.

The OMB reviewed a DOL request to delay the fiduciary rule. The “economically significant” finding is a win for pro-rule consumer groups, sources say. It means a longer comment period, likely 60 days, and potentially more analysis work for the DOL to defend the rule

Empower telling 401(k) clients it won't be a fiduciary when DOL rule kicks in

InvestmentNews; Feb 28, 2017 @ 1:52 pm

Empower Retirement, one of the largest record keepers of defined contribution plans in the U.S., is planning to send notices to its retirement plan clients affirming it does not intend to be a plan fiduciary if and when the Labor Department's conflict-of-interest rule's implementation phase begins.

"As a record keeper and directed service provider, Empower does not intend to offer plan level investment advice under ERISA to you as plan fiduciary," according to a copy of a document that Empower intends to email employers March 1.

Empower sent a separate email, obtained by InvestmentNews, to advisers last week notifying them the record keeper would be sending this notice to advisers' clients.

Adviser Independence Trends Impacted By Fiduciary Uncertainty 

PLANADVISER | February 27, 2017

The February 2017 issue of The Cerulli Edge – U.S. Monthly Product Trends Edition finds about half of U.S.-based financial advisers view the registered investment adviser (RIA) business model as a sensible solution to increased regulatory pressure.

Even as the Trump administration makes broad pledges to roll back financial regulations, including both Dodd-Frank and the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule, advisers are feeling anything but certain about what the future may hold. Beyond the quickly shifting picture in Washington is the constant pressure of participation-driven litigation and the threat posed by emerging advisory technologies that, at least according to some, threaten the traditional approach to one-on-one advice, whether fee- or commission-based.

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