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DOL Fiduciary News: December 23, 2016

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Mercer Bullard: Think DOL’s fiduciary rule is too strict? Blame SEC

ThinkAdvisor; December 23, 2016

Had Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White succeeded in passing a fiduciary standard rule, the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule would likely be less stringent.

So says Mercer Bullard, law professor at the University of Mississippi Law School. In a candid interview with ThinkAdvisor, the investor watchdog provided a withering assessment of Chair White’s performance.
(http://www.benefitspro.com)

Financial institutions brace for DOL haircut

Retirement Income Journal; Wed, Dec 21, 2016

With its controversial fiduciary rule, the Department of Labor quite openly intended to trim the cost of investment services for IRA owners. Little surprise, then, to find that some financial institutions are bracing for a revenue haircut next spring. 

For example, a recent survey of executives at banks and credit unions (http://kehrerbielan.com/files/Press%20Releases/DoL_Readiness_Roundtable_PR.pdf) showed that the typical U.S. financial institution can expect a 17% fall in revenue from investment services because of the impact of the DOL rule—assuming that the rule survives within a business-friendly Trump administration.
(http://retirementincomejournal.com)

Bills to expand accredited-investor pool, reform retirement savings, protect seniors poised to return in 2017

InvestmentNews; Dec 22, 2016

Legislation that would expand the pool of investors eligible to buy unregistered securities, make it easier to put annuities in 401(k) retirement plans and stop a Treasury Department rule changing estate valuations are likely to be revived in 2017 after dying in this year's Congress.

The House and Senate wrapped up the congressional lame-duck session without acting on the measures and without confirming two nominees to the Securities and Exchange Commission — Republican Hester Peirce and Democrat Lisa Fairfax.

The legislation will now have to be reintroduced in the next Congress, which begins on Jan. 3. The Trump administration will have to submit SEC nominees — possibly two new ones — as well as a new agency chairman to the Senate for confirmation.
(http://www.investmentnews.com)

Top 19 retirement news stories of 2016

BenefitsPRO; December 22, 2016

Stakeholders in the country’s $23 trillion retirement market had an eventful 2016.

Between the release of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule and the ensuing legal challenges, the release of a safe harbor for state and municipal-run retirement plans, the continued onslaught of lawsuits against 401(k) plans and a new raft of claims against 403(b) plans at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, 2016 may go down as the most consequential year for the retirement market on record.

And then there was the election.
(http://www.benefitspro.com)