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DOL Fiduciary News: September 19, 2016

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DOL fiduciary rule's unintended consequence: higher fees for investors

InvestmentNews; Sept 16, 2016 @ 11:37 am

As broker-dealers adjust to the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule by instituting uniform commissions on a wide swath of investments, investors could be faced with higher prices on some investment products.

LPL Financial, the nation's largest independent broker-dealer, is instituting new uniform pricing rules for alternative investments such as nontraded real estate investment trusts that could actually increase the initial price for some investments on its platform.
(http://www.investmentnews.com)

DOL official downplays advisers' lawsuit fears stemming from fiduciary rule

InvestmentNews; Sep 16, 2016 @ 3:53 pm

A Labor Department official Friday tried to ease fears a new rule to raise advice standards for retirement accounts will lead to an explosion of lawsuits.

The rule, which requires that advisers act in the best interests of their clients, shouldn't make advisers leery to work with clients with modest assets because they are worried about being sued, said DOL deputy assistant secretary Timothy Hauser.

“The liability exposure moves in step with the size of the investment,” Mr. Hauser told an audience of about 150 advisers at the Financial Planning Association's annual conference in Baltimore. “I'm not sure why that should deter people from serving small accounts.”
(http://www.investmentnews.com)

‘Rolling’ DOL Fiduciary Guidance Begins in Fall: DOL’s Hauser

ThinkAdvisor; September 16, 2016

The Department of Labor plans to start pushing out guidance this fall to address questions about its fiduciary rule, Timothy Hauser, chief operating officer of DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, said Friday.

Speaking during a session at the Financial Planning Association’s national conference in Baltimore, Hauser said the guidance will come out on a “rolling basis” starting this fall in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs), and warned broker-dealers to get their questions in now.
(http://www.thinkadvisor.com)

Not ready to become a DOL-compliant FI? Go partner with one

LifeHealthPro.com; September 16, 2016

The handful of independent marketing organizations that, since July, have applied to become a financial institution under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has a lot of market-watchers wondering how other IMOs on the sidelines intend to do business once the rule is phased in next year. Indeed, there are more than 350 of these insurance distribution intermediaries — many of them big sellers of fixed indexed annuities — that stand to lose a ton of business in the retirement space if they fail to take action.

For those not prepared to become an FI — and make the substantial investment in DOL-compliant business processes, technology and people — there’s one potentially attractive alternative: partner with an IMO that is a financial institution. One organization that’s availing IMOs of this option is Legacy Marketing Group, a Petaluma, California-based firm that, now its 23rd year, has relationships with more than 200 IMOs and 27,000 producers nationwide.
(http://www.lifehealthpro.com)

NAIFA ratchets up FI focus as DOL phases in fiduciary rule

LifeHealthPro.com; September 18, 2016

With so much attention now focused on the Department of Labor’s plans to phase in its conflict of interest rule next year, it’s easy to lose track of one aspect that could prove critical to the insurance and finance industry: how financial institutions beholden to the new regime will interpret and implement the rule’s myriad regulations.

This is a mounting concern for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, which is holding its annual meeting in Las Vegas, Sept. 17-19. The industry’s varying responses to the rule is one among multiple advocacy issues — including continuing Congressional efforts on tax reform and legislative initiatives to impose state-sponsored retirement plans that may conflict with the private market — that NAIFA will be focusing on in the year ahead.
(http://www.lifehealthpro.com)

Impact Financial Systems Launches DOL Advisor Toolkit, Industry's Only Comprehensive DOL Compliance Solution

DAVIDSON, N.C., Sept. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Impact Financial Systems (IFS), the leading provider of business process automation solutions for the brokerage, banking and insurance industries, announced today the release of its DOL Advisor Toolkit. The solution was designed to help advisors identify where and how their businesses will be affected by the Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule, quickly develop action plans, and track progress towards compliance.

IFS began developing the DOL Advisor Toolkit last year when speculation about a new rule emerged. The new rule expands the definition of fiduciary to include all financial advisors who work with qualified retirement plans and IRAs.
(http://www.prnewswire.com)

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