DOL Calls For 60-Day Delay To Fiduciary Rule Implementation

The Labor Department will now take comments for 15 days on whether to finalize the proposed extension.

President Donald Trump expressed his concerns about the fiduciary rule in a memo issued on February 3, in which he directed the DOL to examine the rule and "determine whether it may adversely affect the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information and financial advice".

"Delaying the rule is imperative to avoid further client confusion and market disruption, as firms approach the drop-dead date to notify tens of millions of customers of service changes to their accounts because of the rule, ultimately making retirement savings more hard for many investors".

The Department of Labor on Wednesday proposed delaying implementation of its controversial fiduciary rule to June 9, 2017 from the previous start date of April 10. Of course this is presumed based on Trump's anti-regulatory agenda, but the actual process of gutting the fiduciary rule has proved massively complex already.

Plan sponsors will understandably be a little hesitant to read into this latest development, given the mixed signals that have emerged from the Trump White House pertaining to the fiduciary rule and other regulations policed by Labor.

The Office of Management and Budget completed its review of the proposal earlier this week and deemed it "economically significant".

"More delays are likely", said Mr. Saxena, given that the Labor Department doesn't yet have a secretary installed.

The delay and possible demise of the fiduciary rule comes after the regulation survived several court challenges, including a lawsuit brought by some industry trade groups.

The Department of Labor is proposing to delay a rule that would require financial advisors to act in the best interest of investors.

The Financial Services Roundtable, a lobbying group, issued a statement praising the delay.

Andrew Welsch is senior editor of On Wall Street.

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