Department Of Labor Requests Information On Fiduciary Rule

 
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On July 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (the "DOL") published a public request for information on the fiduciary rule. Although the request does not contain substantive guidance on the rule or on how the DOL is interpreting it, the questions included in the request may give clues about the DOL's thinking on possible changes or additions to the rule and the associated prohibited transaction exemptions. The DOL has asked for input on 18 different questions covering a variety of topics, including:

whether the January 1, 2018 compliance date for the best interest contract exemption (the "BIC") should be extended; how the need to comply with the full BIC will impact investor access to investment advice and choices; possible streamlining of the BIC; alternative exemptions that are more streamlined and focused on specific compliance strategies such as using "clean shares" or on compliance with other fiduciary rules (such as future SEC rules); the grandfathering rules that exempt from the rule investments made prior to June 9; and whether changes should be made to the exclusion for communications with sophisticated independent fiduciaries. The deadline for comments on these questions is generally 30 days (comments are due by August 7, 2017), but a shorter 15-day comment period applies to the question of whether the compliance date for the full BIC should be delayed (comments are...

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