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Trump Administration Rebuffs Challenge to Fiduciary Rule in Appeals Court
ThinkAdvisor; July 4, 2017
The U.S. Labor Department late Monday urged a federal appeals court to largely uphold Obama-era regulations that confronted and sought to curtail conflicts of interest in the retirement-investment market.
The government’s brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the first filing from Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta that addressed the so-called “fiduciary rule,” comes as federal officials move simultaneously to revise provisions of the regulations and perhaps further delay implementation past the Jan. 1, 2018 effective date.
Obama administration officials hailed the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, which was six years in the making, as “a historic step to protect the savings of America’s workers.” The regulations broadened the scope of “fiduciary” responsibilities, putting a new emphasis on the best interest of retirement-advice clients over profits. President Donald Trump in February urged labor regulators to reassess the rule.
What's Next for the DOL Fiduciary Rule?
ThinkAdvisor; July 3, 2017
The Labor Department has given advisors, broker-dealers, fund firms and other industry players 15 days to comment on the Jan. 1 start date for the full introduction of its new fiduciary rule, some aspects of which went into effect June 9.
It also says they have 30 days to comment on all other issues related to the rule.
As feedback rolls in, what should advisors and their firms expect will happen to the fiduciary rule? Look for possible changes to enforcement and perhaps even to the applicability date of regulations in 2018, according to Aron Szapiro, director of policy research for Morningstar.
Under the Trump administration, the Labor Department appears to be assuming it will “largely keep the new definition of a fiduciary and the impartial conduct standards they must follow,” Szapiro, said in an interview with ThinkAdvisor.
10 fiduciary rule questions in Labor's RFI
BenefitsPro.com; July 3, 2017
The Labor Department’s recently issued request for information will support the agency’s ongoing economic and legal analysis of the fiduciary rule, which was ordered by President Trump.
In short, the Trump administration’s Labor Department wants additional input from stakeholders regarding “possible additional exemption approaches” and overall changes to the rule.
Regulators also want input as to whether the January 1, 2018 scheduled applicability date for the rule’s major prohibited transaction exemptions should be further delayed.
Within the context of those two overarching questions, the RFI casts a wide net of inquiry.
Stakeholders will have a limited opportunity to submit comments. Regarding the advisability of delaying the January 1, 2018 applicability date, comments will be accepted up to 15 days after the RFI is published in the Federal Register.