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DOL Pushes for 18 Month Extension on Fiduciary Rule

By Greg Shulas August 9, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking to delay industry compliance with the most hotly-debated components of the fiduciary rule by 18 months. That’s according to DOL-issued legal documents submitted in its defense of a Thrivent Financial-backed lawsuit protesting key rule provisions, business publications Ignites and ThinkAdvisor report.

Under the DOL’s proposal, the enforcement deadline would be moved from Jan. 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 for three main provisions; the Best Interest Contract Exemption, Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24; the class exemption for principal transactions in certain asset classes between investment advice fiduciaries and employee benefit plans and IRAs; and Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 for Certain Transactions Involving Insurance Agents and Brokers, Pension Consultants, Insurance Companies, and Investment Company Principal Underwriters, according to the DOL filing.

News of the proposed delay was first reported by Ignites, a sister publication of Life Annuity Specialist that focuses on the retail mutual fund, ETF and retirement services industries. (Ignites is a subscription only publication. Click here for their breaking news article if you have a subscription.)

Details about the planned extension come right after the DOL ended a public comment period focused on introducing new revisions of the rule, and as industry lobbying efforts against the initial Jan. 1 enforcement deadline for Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) have intensified.

DOL representatives were unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon.

The proposed delay follows a directive by the Trump administration to review fiduciary rule provisions to help gauge whether its implementation will increase industry litigation, Ignites reports.

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