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DOL Fiduciary News: November 8, 2017

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Retirement plan advisers, providers hit 'pause' on DOL fiduciary rule compliance

InvestmentNews; Nov 7, 2017 @ 4:52 pm

The likelihood of a delay to elements of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule has caused some retirement plan advisers and providers to re-evaluate some of the steps they'd taken or had planned to take to comply with the regulation, a panel of industry executives and legal experts said Tuesday morning.

"At this point, the transition caused us to step back and pause … Everything is up for interpretation, and it's very gray," said Todd Levy, chief investment officer at Ingham Retirement Group, an advisory firm that is also a plan record keeper and administrator.

He called the proposed delay somewhat of a relief due to some compliance aspects with the fiduciary rule, but a challenge in others ways due to a lack of direction.

…One of the parts that would be delayed includes portions of the best-interest contract exemption, the primary enforcement mechanism of the rule, which contains what many rule opponents see as the most difficult elements regarding compliance.

Fee-Based Annuity Sales on the Rise at Lincoln

InsuranceNewsNet; November 7, 2017

Fee-based annuity sales at Lincoln Financial totaled $79 million in the third quarter, nearly as much as the company's entire fee-based annuity sales in 2016, the company's CEO said last week.

The sales bump might be an indicator of rising acceptance of fee-based products in light of tightened regulation.

Third-quarter annuity sales dripped 1 percent to $1.9 billion compared to the year-ago quarter, Lincoln Financial said. Fee-based annuities are not separately broken out in the company's filings, but Dennis R. Glass, president and CEO of Lincoln Financial, touted their success in a conference call with analysts.

A living benefit rider – Max 6 Select – introduced late in the second quarter, added nearly $50 million to annuity sales in the third quarter, he said.

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