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COLLECTED WISDOM™ on the DOL and SEC Fiduciary Rules

This archive contains not only the most current material on the topic, but also older items that are still relevant, provide background, perspective or are germane to the topic.

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Other topical areas you may find of interest include Fiduciary Responsibility and Liability Issues and Fiduciary Related News and Intelligence.

Contents

General Articles and Papers

SEC's Fiduciary Rule Could Erase Question of Labor Dept. Appeal

Abstract: The SEC unveiled its take on a fiduciary rule late April 18, and the proposed rule includes elements that echo the DOL's embattled fiduciary rule. That could make it easier for the DOL to walk away from its own fiduciary rule and not appeal a recent court decision that vacated it, sources told Bloomberg Law.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2018

It's Not Deja Vu, It's a Brand New Best Interest Rule Making Debate

Abstract: The release of a thousand-page "best interest" rule making package by the SEC applying to all brokers and investment advisers is being hailed as a victory by some and a deep disappointment by others; either way, it's the start of another long chapter in the epic industry battle over federal conflict of interest regulations.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2018

SEC Proposes Revised Conflict of Interest Standards for Brokers and Advisers

Abstract: It will take time for the fully detailed picture to emerge, but the SEC voted late Wednesday to propose new conflict of interest standards for how broker/dealers and financial advisers label themselves and sell products under various fee structures to retail clients.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2018

SEC Rolls Out Best Interest, Fiduciary Proposal

Abstract: The SEC release for public comment a set of proposals to enhance the quality and transparency of investors' relationships with investment advisers and broker-dealers while preserving access to a variety of types of advice relationships and investment products.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, April 2018

SEC Fact Sheet on Proposed Best Interest Standard

Abstract: Under proposed Regulation Best Interest, a broker-dealer would be required to act in the best interest of a retail customer when making a recommendation of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities to a retail customer. In addition to its proposed regulation, the SEC also issued this Fact Sheet on its proposed best interest regulation.

Source: Benefitsforward.com, April 2018

SEC Proposed Interpretation of Best Interest Standard of Conduct

Abstract: Along with the issuance of its proposed regulations, the SEC is also publishing a proposed interpretation of the standard of conduct and request for comments.

Source: Benefitsforward.com, April 2018

SEC Proposed Rule on Best Interest Standard

Abstract: The SEC has issued a proposed regulation establishing a standard of conduct for broker-dealers and those associated with broker-dealers when making recommendations of securities transactions or investment strategies involving securities to retail customers.

Source: Benefitsforward.com, April 2018

The Future of the ERISA Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The future of the Fiduciary rule is uncertain, particularly considering the Fifth Circuit's decision vacating the rule. Although recent developments do not require action at this time, plan fiduciaries should continue to keep apprised of the necessity of complying with the Fiduciary rule and, accordingly, continue to monitor the efforts of their service providers who provide investment advice to their retirement plans and plan participants.

Source: Pillsburylaw.com, April 2018

SEC Announces Open Meeting on Fiduciary Issues

Abstract: Tontine is a fancy word for betting on how long you'll live, in a good way. Here's the concept in a nutshell: many people pool their money in return for guaranteed regular payouts for life, similar to an annuity. This 6-page paper takes a close look at an idea that is tossed around among finance experts: modifying tontines to use them as a source of retirement income.

Source: Bc.edu, April 2018

A Closer Look at the 5th Circuit Decision Vacating the Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: After the Fifth Circuit's ruling, a number of US law firms issued client advisories concerning the impact of the Fifth Circuit's decision on the rule. There has been some confusion as to whether the Fifth Circuit's ruling had a nationwide effect or, in light of the decisions upholding the rule, was limited to the jurisdiction of the Fifth Circuit.

Source: Kattenlaw.com, April 2018

Here's What the DOL Might Do Next With the Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The financial sector and investors are eager to know how the DOL will move forward with the rule. Major companies already have invested millions of dollars to adhere to the stricter standards set up by the rule. The stakes are high and the deadlines are fast approaching.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), March 2018

What Does the 5th Circuit Decision Mean for Rollover Recommendations?

Abstract: The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated the DOL's fiduciary rule and exemptions. What does that mean for recommendations to participants that they take plan distributions and rollover to IRAs? In some cases it means a lot.

Source: Fredreish.com, March 2018

Bye-Bye Fiduciary Rule?

Abstract: Should you say goodbye to the Fiduciary Rule? Maybe, but not just yet. The DOL has until the end of April to decide whether to let the 5th Circuit decision vacating the Fiduciary Rule stand or try to get it over-turned. If they do nothing, the ruling becomes effective May 7, and bye-bye Fiduciary Rule.

Source: Brokerdealerlawblog.com, March 2018

Fifth Circuit Vacates DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Although the fate of Fiduciary Rule is not entirely certain, the Fifth Circuit's decision provides the Trump Administration a clear pathway to undoing the Fiduciary Rule and reinstating the prior definition of "invest. advice." This article discusses the implications of the decision and next steps.

Source: Groom.com, March 2018

Circuit Court Fiduciary Rule Decisions Raise Important Process Questions

Abstract: While the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated the DOL fiduciary rule expansion, one attorney warns the rule is still technically in effect, at the very least until the court issues a “mandate” opening a limited period during which the Department of Labor can choose to contest the decision; he also questions whether the circuit courts are in fact split on the matter, as some are suggesting.

Source: Planadviser.com, March 2018

What the Fiduciary Rule Decision Means for Your Retirement

Abstract: The Fifth Circuit on March 15 vacated DOL regulations that redefined the circumstances in which a person who provides invest. advice in connection with a retirement plan or individual retirement arrangement acts as a fiduciary under ERISA. The opinion came two days after the 10th Circuit the same regulations.

Source: Bankrate.com, March 2018

Fifth Circuit Strikes Down DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The Fifth Circuit on March 15 vacated DOL regulations that redefined the circumstances in which a person who provides invest. advice in connection with a retirement plan or individual retirement arrangement acts as a fiduciary under ERISA. The opinion came two days after the 10th Circuit the same regulations.

Source: Ballardspahr.com, March 2018

DOL Puts Fiduciary Rule Enforcement on Hold

Abstract: The industry may be wondering what's next in the wake of last week's federal court decision vacating the fiduciary rule, but, for now anyway, the DOL says it is taking a pause.

Source: Asppa.org, March 2018

DOL Rule Struck Down in Court: Will Fiduciary Standards Prevail?

Abstract: The Fifth Circuit Court put the kibosh on the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. According to the court, the rule "overreached" and was "unreasonable." Clearly, that stirs up a lot of uncertainty.

Source: 401ktv.com, March 2018

DOL Fiduciary Rule Likely to Live on Despite Appeals Court Loss

Abstract: Despite suffering a major blow when it was struck down Thursday by a federal appeals court, the Labor Department's fiduciary rule could still live on. Uncertainty, though, will continue to surround the measure as it morphs its way into the future.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), March 2018

Industry Reacts to Fifth Circuit Fiduciary Rule Ruling

Abstract: Groups representing both sides of the fiduciary debate were quick to respond to news yesterday that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the entirety of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule. Here's what some of them had to say.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), March 2018

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Vacates DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the Labor Department's fiduciary rule in a split decision announced late Thursday afternoon, overturning a Dallas district court that was just as adamant in upholding the measure. By a 2-1 vote, the appellate judges held that the agency exceeded its statutory authority under ERISA in promulgating the measure. The rule requires that brokers act in the best interests of their clients in retirement accounts.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), March 2018

What's Next for the DOL Fiduciary Rule?

Abstract: The Department of Labor fiduciary rule does not exist anymore after a late-Thursday court ruling. That court decision opens the door for the Securities and Exchange Commission and state insurance departments to take over rulemaking. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' 2-1 decision stunned the industry and has many asking the same question this morning: What now?

Source: Insurancenewsnet.com, March 2018

Fiduciary Rule Shifts Power to Broker-dealer Compliance Departments

Abstract: The DOL fiduciary rule was a wake-up call for many broker-dealers, some of which had paid little attention to defined contribution plans like 401ks in the past. But no one is arguing that compliance departments gained greater power over how their advisers interact with 401k and 403b plan sponsors and their employees.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), March 2018

Is Title Reform the Answer to the Fiduciary Debate?

Abstract: Could clearing up the decades-old confusion over the role of a broker compared to that of an investment adviser be as easy as clarifying their professional titles? So-called title reform has recently emerged as a serious consideration as the SEC sets out to put forth a proposal creating a new fiduciary standard in the financial advice industry. But what many thought could be a silver bullet against piles of fiduciary regulation now seems just as controversial.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), March 2018

Exception to the Rule: Understanding the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: This article covers the exception to the fiduciary rule, as well as some steps employers can take to ensure the new DOL fiduciary rule is being properly adhered to.

Source: Blr.com, March 2018

Latest Wells Fargo Flap Underscores Need for Fiduciary Standard

Abstract: The most recent scandal brewing at Wells Fargo Advisors, this one regarding questions from the Justice Department about potentially inappropriate recommendations on rollovers for 401(k) plan participants, underscores yet again why the financial advice industry needs a clear, simple fiduciary rule for all brokers and advisers and their clients.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), March 2018

Don't Wait for Full Implementation of New DOL Fiduciary Rule to Understand It

Abstract: With the new DOL fiduciary rule in effect, and the phased implementation and extended transition period set, it is reasonable to imagine that all members of the retirement plans community have been refreshing their understanding of the fiduciary duties tied to plan administration. However, recent surveys of DC plan sponsors yielded somewhat alarming results about grasping the role of fiduciary and what duties apply.

Source: Blr.com, March 2018

Is the New Fiduciary Rule Enforceable During the Transition Period?

Abstract: Among the "myths" surrounding the fiduciary rule is that the rule will not be enforced during the transition period. But that's not the whole story, Fred Reish notes.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, March 2018

Massachusetts Brings Enforcement Action Based on Violations of Fiduciary Rule Compliance Policies

Abstract: Although the Complaint alleges violations of state law only, it has the effect of challenging a financial institution's compliance with the Fiduciary Rule and "Best Interest Contract Exemption," which became applicable on June 9, 2017, and raises alarm bells that the states are stepping in to regulate the retirement advice market in the absence of enforcement by the DOL or private litigants to date.

Source: Groom.com, February 2018

Massachusetts Heats Up Fiduciary Rule Discussion With Cold-Blooded Enforcement

Abstract: Financial services firms occasionally implement programs for their representatives to receive incentives in connection with specific product or service offerings. For as long as firms have used such programs, securities regulators have scrutinized them. The latest iteration of regulatory attention to sale incentives signals a shift in strategy that carries broader implications for financial firms.

Source: Winstead.com, February 2018

Fiduciary Conduct Is Good for Business

Abstract: The focus on compliance obscures the compelling business case that fiduciary conduct (1) is what clients want, (2) is operationally efficient and reliable, (3) strengthens client-adviser relationships and makes them more enduring, (4) provides the adviser with greater pricing power, and (5) enhances the advisory firm's brand and market valuation.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), February 2018

Fiduciary Rule Myths

Abstract: The best interest requirement may lead some to think that advisors have to meet an essentially impossible standard. As with a lowest-cost recommendation, a mandate to recommend the best investment is a myth...it just isn't true. Even the DOL has said so.

Source: Brokerdealerlawblog.com, February 2018

Firms May Need to Rethink DOL Rule After Scottrade Charges

Abstract: A decision by Massachusetts' regulators to file state charges against Scottrade by claiming it violated the Department of Labor fiduciary rule has surprised many industry analysts. In short, the state claims Scottrade ignored the policies and procedures it put in place starting June 9 to comply with the DOL rule.

Source: Advisornews.com, February 2018

Lawyer Fighting DOL Rule Blasts Scottrade Fiduciary Charges

Abstract: Eugene Scalia, a partner with Gibson Dunn who represents the nine plaintiffs suing the Labor Department over its fiduciary rule, told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on Friday that Massachusetts' action Thursday against Scottrade for allegedly violating the fiduciary rule's Impartial Conduct Standards is "without merit," and will spark "private plaintiffs...to exploit the rule to concoct state law claims."

Source: Thinkadvisor.com, February 2018

Bay State Regulator Files Fiduciary Rule-Related Complaint

Abstract: The Massachusetts Securities Division has filed charges against a firm for knowingly violating its internal policies regarding implementation of the DOL fiduciary rule and taken a shot at the Department of Labor.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, February 2018

Past, Present and Future of the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: All three branches of government have been engaged on a variety of fronts in determining the future course of the DOL Fiduciary Rule. Those proceedings appear to have reached a temporary lull. This article reviews the current "lay of the land" with respect to the DOL Fiduciary Rule and to look forward to anticipate what may lie ahead.

Source: Klgates.com, February 2018

DOL, SEC Fiduciary Rules Likely in Fall

Abstract: The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Labor Department will likely release simultaneously in the fall their fiduciary rule proposals, prominent ERISA attorneys say.

Source: Thinkadvisor.com, February 2018

The Fiduciary Rule: Mistaken Beliefs

Abstract: The myth is that broker-dealers and RIAs -- and their advisors -- must only recommend the lowest cost investments. For example, mutual funds with the lowest expense ratios. That is not correct.

Source: Fredreish.com, January 2018

SEC Reportedly Accelerating Work on Its Own Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Implementation of the DOL's fiduciary rule has been delayed, and the rule may not have the teeth it originally did. But it would be a mistake to assume that means a complete demise for a new fiduciary standard for advisors. That depends in part on what the Securities and Exchange Commission does with its own fiduciary rule, work that reportedly is accelerating.

Source: Asppa.org, January 2018

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Charting a Course, Avoiding Collisions & Potential Litigation

Abstract: This Q&A addresses issues raised in the DOL's recent release which provides for an 18-month Extension of Transition Period and Delay of Applicability Dates for the Best Interest Contract Exemption; the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions; and PTE 84-24. In particular, it focuses on the issues the DOL raised regarding the status of "enforcement" procedures during the transition period.

Source: Jdsupra.com, January 2018

Despite an Uncertain Fate, DOL Fiduciary Rule Leaves Its Mark

Abstract: There's no doubt that the DOL fiduciary rule is prompting changes in advisors' practices. Advisors are moving further toward fee-based compensation, and predominantly fee-based advisors and RIAs are the only advisor segments that are growing.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, January 2018

Dispelling a Mistaken Belief About the Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: There had been a common belief among advisors that fiduciary status could be avoided by presenting a list of investments to plan sponsors. It was thought that since the list did not "recommend" any particular investments, it could not be a fiduciary recommendation.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, January 2018

Reporting Emerges That Many DOL Fiduciary Rule Comments Could Be Fake

Abstract: The Wall Street Journal published an analysis this week suggesting "at least five governmental agencies have received fake comments challenging the agencies' rules," including the Department of Labor; the DOL is so far declining additional comment.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2017

Employer Fiduciary Exposure/Risks to Employers in Vendor Agreements

Abstract: The topic is the fiduciary risk to plan sponsors in vendor contracts as a result of the DOL Fiduciary Rule.

Source: Fiduciaryplangovernance.com, December 2017

Summary of Legal Actions Against the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Since the DOL put the final rule redefining an investment advice fiduciary under ERISA into effect, there have been six lawsuits filed in four federal courts. The goal? To vacate the fiduciary rule in whole or at least in part. This chart reviews what has happened with these lawsuits.

Source: Columbiathreadneedleus.com, December 2017

Plan Sponsors Should Take Action during the New Fiduciary Rule Transition Relief Period

Abstract: Sponsors of retirement plans should take advantage of this significantly extended transition period to confirm that advisors to individual plan participants have taken steps to comply with the rule's requirements and prohibited transaction exemptions that are now due to become fully effective on July 1, 2019.

Source: Bradley.com, December 2017

DOL Delays Parts of Fiduciary Rule About to Take Effect, Extends Enforcement Relief

Abstract: Finalizing its earlier proposal, DOL extended until July 1, 2019, the effective date for the written disclosures and fiduciary representations required under prohibited transaction exemptions to the expanded fiduciary rule. During this time, the department will consider possible changes and alternatives to the exemptions, as well as potential input from the SEC. The DOL similarly extended its "enforcement lite" policy for fiduciaries working diligently and in good faith to comply with the updated rule, which went into effect on June 9, 2017.

Source: Conduent.com, November 2017

DOL Extends Fiduciary Rule Delay

Abstract: The DOL released the final rule that further extends the Transition Period and delays the applicability date of several of the prohibited transaction exemptions associated with the DOL's revamped Fiduciary Rule that became applicable on June 9.

Source: Captrustadvisors.com, November 2017

Extension of Fiduciary Rule Transition Period Likely Official End of November

Abstract: Although the details of the notice are not yet known, the title suggests that the conditions of the named exemptions that are currently scheduled to become applicable on January 1, 2018, will be delayed by 18 months to July 1, 2019, as the DOL had originally proposed in August.

Source: Morganlewis.com, November 2017

Best Practices Arising From the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: This article examines the manner in which the fiduciary rule, and in particular the BIC Exemption, affect business best practices regardless of whether any changes are made to the fiduciary rule and related exemptions.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, October 2017

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Don't Misinterpret the Word "Delay"

Abstract: The word "delay" can be misconstrued. Context is everything. An advisor could interpret the delay to mean that the fiduciary rule is not applicable and that they don't have to follow it. But that isn't the case. It's more accurate for financial advisors to think of the DOL's proposal in terms of an extension of the transition period that's already in place.

Source: Columbiathreadneedleus.com, October 2017

BICE and Related Exemptions: Limiting Your Liability Until Full Implementation

Abstract: It is unclear if the DOL will extend its current temporary enforcement policy on the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions during the Transition Period. In this environment, a critical and bottom-line question for financial advisers and financial institutions is, "What do I do during the Transition Period?"

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, September 2017

DOL's Fiduciary Rule: Three Issues to Consider if you Advise IRAs

Abstract: Under the DOL's fiduciary rule, advice to rollover assets from 401ks to an account that you advise constitutes fiduciary investment advice. This article reviews three issues advisers should consider as they engage in rollover discussions with prospective clients.

Source: Klgates.com, September 2017

DOL Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2017-02

Abstract: This document announces a temporary enforcement policy related to the DOL's final rule defining who is a fiduciary under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, and the related prohibited transaction exemptions, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption, the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions In Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs, and certain amended prohibited transaction exemptions.

Source: Dol.gov, September 2017

DOL Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2017-03

Abstract: This document announces an enforcement policy related to the limitation of arbitration in the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BIC Exemption) and the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions In Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs, issued by the dol under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

Source: Dol.gov, September 2017

OMB Approves Proposal for 18-month Delay of DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The Office of Management and Budget has approved a proposal to delay for 18 months implementation of the remaining provisions in the Labor Department's fiduciary rule. The OMB made its determination on Monday and posted the decision on its website on Tuesday, taking only a fraction of the 90 days that it could have had to review the proposal.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), August 2017

DOL Seeks to Delay Fiduciary Rule Until July 2019

Abstract: The Labor Department is seeking to delay implementation of the remaining parts of its fiduciary rule for 18 months. In a brief filed in a Minnesota lawsuit Wednesday, the DOL indicated it had submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a proposal to delay the rule from Jan. 1, 2018, until July 1, 2019. The OMB must review and approve the proposal before it can go into effect.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), August 2017

DOL May Be Saying Au Revoir to BIC Exemption's Restrictions on Arbitration

Abstract: On July 3, 2017, in a brief filed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the DOL and DOJ announced that the Government would no longer defend the restrictions on arbitration in the Best Interest Contract Exemption, and opined that the conditions should be vacated and severed from the exemption. The move marks a stunning shift in the DOL's defense of its fiduciary rulemaking, which has been vigorous and marked by a string of litigation victories.

Source: Groom.com, July 2017

Further Delay of Full Applicability of the Fiduciary Rule Would Cost Retirement Savers

Abstract: The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the delays the DOL has already instituted under the new administration mean that retirement savers will lose $7.6 billion over the next 30 years. Each year of further delay will cost retirement savers an additional $7.3 billion dollars over the next 30 years.

Source: Epi.org, July 2017

Fiduciary Rule and Plan Sponsors: What Happens Now?

Abstract: The effect on sponsors of large retirement plans will mostly involve their relationships with service providers. Some defined contribution plan vendors will deliver investment advice to participants in a fiduciary capacity, which requires a fiduciary assessment. In its response brief to the 5th circuit, the DOL made a significant concession for the best interest contract (BIC) exemption.

Source: Towerswatson.com, July 2017

Impact of the DOL Fiduciary Rule on Broker-Dealers

Abstract: The focus of this articl is the prohibited transaction exemptions -- PTE 84-24 and the Best Interest Contract Exemption -- that are available to broker-dealers when their registered representatives recommend annuities to IRA investors. The purpose is to address the factors that firms may want to consider in deciding which exemption to use during the "transition period," currently scheduled to end on December 31, 2017.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, July 2017

The Fiduciary Rule: A Fifth Request for Public Comment

Abstract: The DOL has released a request for information seeking public comments yet again on its new fiduciary definition and related exemptions which became applicable on June 9th. This article reviews the topics on which the RFI requests comment.

Source: Eversheds-Sutherland.com, July 2017

DOL Again Seeks Comments on New Fiduciary Rules and Exemptions

Abstract: The DOL requested another round of public comment on its fiduciary rule, this time in the form of a Request for Information. The RFI seeks input on (a) whether to extend the January 1, 2018, applicability date for parts of the rule that are not yet in effect, and (b) changes to make the rule more workable. The RFI expresses an openness to modifying existing exemptions and adopting new ones.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, July 2017

DOL Issues Request for Comment on Fiduciary Rule to Guide Review

Abstract: The Labor Department on Thursday evening released a request for comment on the agency's fiduciary rule, seeking input on whether to delay the Jan. 1 full implementation date and soliciting suggestions for streamlining major provisions.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2017

The DOL's Fiduciary Rule Is Here, Are You Prepared?

Abstract: As a plan fiduciary, the goal is to deliver a top performing vendor plan to your employees with low fees and great service. How does the DOL's new fiduciary rule impact that goal and what should you do as a result? This short article outlines a few steps to take with respect to the rule.

Source: Pension-consultants.com, June 2017

Fiduciary Rule: June 9 & Beyond

Abstract: This article provides a high level summary intended to help ERISA Plans and service providers to ERISA Plans and/or IRAs better understand some of the Fiduciary Rule's compliance requirements, as well as those of the Best Interest Contract (BIC) Exemption, an exemption that is expected to be relied upon by many financial advisers.

Source: Kilpatricktownsend.com, June 2017

Defining "Reasonable Comp" Under the DOL Rule

Abstract: The best way for financial advisors to think about "reasonable compensation" in the fiduciary sense is to imagine a scatter graph. And the best place to be on that graph is the dot in the middle of the pack of other dots.

Source: Insurancenewsnet.com, June 2017

Compliance With the ERISA Fiduciary Advice Rule

Abstract: The DOL's fiduciary rule affects a broad range of financial services providers who deal with "Protected Investors." This article provides a brief overview of the specific effects of the Rule on investment managers and sponsors of private funds that accept investments from Protected Investors and on investment advisers that provide managed account services to Protected Investors.

Source: Kattenlaw.com, June 2017

Fiduciary Rule's Future Even More Uncertain as SEC Steps In

Abstract: SEC Chairman Jay Clayton in his first policy announcement said the SEC would seek comment on a range of issues related to the DOL's Obama-era rule that aimed to reduce the allegedly conflicted investment advice given to retirement savers. Opponents of the rule may be pleased, but this isn't the first time the head of the SEC has expressed interest in tackling the topic.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), June 2017

DOL FAQs Guide Compliance Efforts During Fiduciary Rule Transition Period

Abstract: The Department of Labor has issued guidance in the form of 'Frequently Asked Questions' to help firms and their advisers impacted by the Fiduciary Rule know what is expected on and after June 9, 2017, on and after January 1, 2018, and during the period between.

Source: Benefitsbryancave.com, June 2017

Overview Articles

New Conflict of Interest FAQ

Abstract: This FAQ provides information on (1) a "fiduciary status disclosure" issue under the DOL's ERISA section 408(b)(2) service provider disclosure regulation that applies to ERISA pension plans, (2) whether recommendations to plan participants and IRA owners to contribute to or increase contributions to a plan or IRA constitute fiduciary investment advice under the Fiduciary Rule, and (3) whether recommendations to employers and other plan fiduciaries on plan design changes intended to increase plan participation and contribution rates constitute fiduciary investment advice under the Fiduciary Rule.

Source: Dol.gov, August 2017

DOL's 2016 Fiduciary Rule: Background and Issues

Abstract: This updated 28-page report was prepared by the Congressional Research Service and provides an in-depth background and overview of the DOL's fiduciary rule along with the rationale for the rule and stakeholders perspectives.

Source: Fas.org, July 2017

DOL's Conflict of Interest FAQs (Part II - Rule)

Abstract: Set out here are several FAQs regarding implementation of the conflict of interest final rule. Since the publication of the Rule last April, the DOL has held many meetings with stakeholders to assist in their compliance efforts. Many of the questions they raised related to the various Rule provisions that draw lines between fiduciary and non-fiduciary communications. Like the FAQs the DOL issued in October, these FAQs focus particularly on specific technical questions raised by financial service providers.

Source: Dol.gov, January 2017

Consumer Protections for Retirement Investors - FAQs on Your Rights and Financial Advisers

Abstract: The DOL's recently adopted Conflict of Interest Rule protects retirement investors by requiring advisers to adhere to a fiduciary standard and give advice that is in the investor's best interest. This FAQ provides information about the Rule and related protections so that one can better understand their rights and benefits. At the end of these FAQs is attached a list of questions that a retirement plan investor can ask their financial adviser.

Source: Dol.gov, January 2017

Conflict of Interest Exemptions FAQs Released

Abstract: This DOL FAQ provides additional guidance on application of the exemptions' terms. This guidance, like the Rule and related exemptions, is generally limited to advice concerning investments in IRAs, ERISA-covered plans, and other plans covered by section 4975(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Source: Dol.gov, October 2016

Who's a Fiduciary Now? Understanding the DOL's New Definition

Abstract: The sky isn't falling, but in a very real sense the retirement world is changing with the release of the DOL's final regulation that more broadly defines who is an "investment-advice" fiduciary for purposes of ERISA. This is a 14-page review from the law firm Spencer Fane.

Source: Spencerfane.com, May 2016

DOL Issues Final Fiduciary Rule: A Comprehensive Overview

Abstract: The DOL issued a final rule defining the term fiduciary for investment advisers and brokers providing investment advice to participants and beneficiaries of employee benefit plans governed by ERISA and individual retirement accounts. The final rule makes several modifications and clarifications to the proposed rule. In conjunction, the DOL also issued amended versions of prohibited transaction exemptions.

Source: Practicallaw.com, April 2016

An Overview of the Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Based on Fred Reish's review of the DOL's fiduciary rule and conversations with his clients, here are some of his overview thoughts about the regulation and the two distribution exemptions (84-24 and BICE).

Source: Fredreish.com, April 2016

Lawsuits Against the Rule

Fifth Circuit Vacates DOL Fiduciary Rule "In Toto"

Abstract: In a 2-1 decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down the DOL's fiduciary rule, deciding in favor of several leading financial services industry trade associations. This article examines the impact of this decision and provide suggestions on what financial institutions should be thinking about.

Source: Morganlewis.com, March 2018

Fifth Circuit Strikes Down DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The Fifth Circuit on March 15 vacated DOL regulations that redefined the circumstances in which a person who provides invest. advice in connection with a retirement plan or individual retirement arrangement acts as a fiduciary under ERISA. The opinion came two days after the 10th Circuit the same regulations.

Source: Ballardspahr.com, March 2018

DOL Rule Struck Down in Court: Will Fiduciary Standards Prevail?

Abstract: The Fifth Circuit Court put the kibosh on the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. According to the court, the rule "overreached" and was "unreasonable." Clearly, that stirs up a lot of uncertainty.

Source: 401ktv.com, March 2018

Thrivent, DOL Both Win in Fiduciary Rule Case

Abstract: Unlikely as it would seem, both Thrivent Financial and the DOL could be considered winners when a U.S. District Court judge on November 3, 2017, granted an injunction against a key aspect of the DOL's investment fiduciary guidance.

Source: Ascensus.com, November 2017

Fifth Circuit Oral Arguments -- A New Hope for Fiduciary Rule Opponents?

Abstract: During oral argument in Chamber of Commerce v. Acosta, Judge Jones not only peppered both parties with questions that appeared to be largely based on the Chamber of Commerce's briefs, but also raised a new argument about why the Fifth Circuit need not defer to the DOL's analysis. Should Judge Jones and at least one of the other members of the panel side with the Chamber of Commerce, the Fiduciary Rule could be vacated.

Source: Groom.com, August 2017

Trial Lawyers Want to Defend Fiduciary Rule in Court

Abstract: Industry groups that support the Labor Department's fiduciary rule came out swinging in new legal briefs, one of which offers to defend in court a key provision of the rule that the DOL is no longer defending.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), July 2017

DOL Files Fiduciary Lawsuit Brief Defending Advisory Market Authority

Abstract: The DOL argues it must not lose its broad authority to regulate the workplace retirement planning market, notwithstanding the fact that it may very well decline to aggressively enforce the fiduciary rule under President Trump.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2017

Fiduciary Litigation: Another One Bites the Dust

Abstract: Plaintiffs seeking to obtain an emergency injunction blocking the DOL's fiduciary regulation were rebuffed again by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The denial kept the DOL's fiduciary litigation streak unblemished.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2017

Texas Judge Shoots Down Latest Effort to Halt DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Opponents of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule were dealt another blow Monday, when Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn of the U.S. District Court for Northern Texas denied the financial trade association plaintiffs' motion for an injunction to stop the regulation.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), March 2017

DOL Retains Perfect Record in Fiduciary Rule Challenges

Abstract: The Labor Department's fiduciary rule survived yet another legal challenge when a federal judge in Kansas upheld the rule on its merits after previously refusing to block the rule's enforcement.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), February 2017

Kansas Judge Again Upholds DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Judge Daniel D. Crabtree granted summary judgment to DOL in a lawsuit filed by Market Synergy Group, a Topeka insurance agency that develops fixed index annuities and other proprietary insurance products.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), February 2017

Dallas Court Approval Thwarts Trump's Attempt to Block DOL Rule

Abstract: A Dallas federal judge's decision on Wednesday to uphold the Labor Department's fiduciary rule buttresses supporters' efforts to prevent the Trump administration from overturning the rule.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), February 2017

D.C. Court of Appeals Denies Emergency Request to Halt Conflict of Interest Rule

Abstract: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the emergency request from the National Association for Fixed Annuities for an injunction blocking the implementation of the Department of Labor's conflict of interest rule and related exemptions.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, December 2016

NAFA Loses Another Round in DOL Fiduciary Fight

Abstract: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied a motion for an emergency injunction of a Labor Department investment advice rule, leaving it in place as the Trump administration comes into office.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), December 2016

Labor Department Wins Another Round in Fiduciary Rule Suits

Abstract: The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule withstood another round of judicial scrutiny when a federal judge in Kansas refused to block the rule from being enforced.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), November 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule Won't Be Delayed, Judge Says

Abstract: The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule won't be delayed while a federal appeals court considers a legal challenge to the rule, a federal judge concluded.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), November 2016

Fiduciary Rule Survives First Court Challenge - Will Other Courts Follow?

Abstract: A district court in Washington D.C. has just handed the DOL a significant victory in its efforts to derail legal challenges to the fiduciary rule. The decision itself is 92 well-reasoned pages, and contains a clear refutation of the arguments put forth by NAFA in challenging the rule. The court not only refused to enjoin the regulations on an interim basis, but made a final ruling on summary judgement.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, November 2016

Federal Court Rejects NAFA Attempt to Kill DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: In a victory for the Department of Labor, a federal judge rejected an attempt by an insurance trade group to strike down its new fiduciary rule for retirement advice. The DOL and Mr. Perez still face five lawsuits from firms and industry trade groups seeking to stop the new fiduciary rule.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), November 2016

DOL Scores Win in First Legal Challenge to Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: A federal judge handed the DOL a decisive win in its first legal defense of the fiduciary rule. U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss in Washington denied the National Association for Fixed Annuities' request for a preliminary injunction to halt the rule's implementation, scheduled to begin next April.

Source: Financial-Planning.com, November 2016

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the DOL's Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: In this Proskauer Rose LLP update on the litigation challenging the U.S. Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule, they note that there has been a sixth lawsuit filed and oral arguments in two other cases.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, October 2016

Thrivent Financial Challenges DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is accusing the DOL of exceeding its statutory authority by attempting, with its new fiduciary rule, to force all disputes into federal court rather than allowing for alternative dispute resolution methods.

Source: Bna.com, September 2016

Judge's Questions Show Inclination to Uphold DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Federal judge Randolph Moss didn't state his position Thursday regarding how he will rule on a lawsuit against a major Labor Department investment-advice regulation. But his questioning of plaintiffs and defense attorneys during a hearing that lasted more than three hours indicated he is probably leaning toward upholding the regulation and not granting the preliminary injunction being sought by the National Association of Fixed Annuities.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), August 2016

DOL Responds to Fiduciary Rule Lawsuit

Abstract: In a reply to complaints brought against it by the National Association for Fixed Annuities, the DOL says it is entitled to summary judgment on all claims, and the court should deny NAFA's motion for summary judgment and a preliminary injunction. Article reviews its several arguments.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2016

Does DOL Fiduciary Rule Create a New Right to Sue?

Abstract: The lawsuit by a fixed annuity lobbying group challenges the rule on six counts, but the key question is whether the rule creates a new private right of action.

Source: Thinkadvisor.com, July 2016

Litigation Schedule Set for Suits Against DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Financial industry trade groups and the DOL have agreed to a litigation schedule that could render a decision in October on several lawsuits seeking to stop an investment advice regulation.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

Two More Groups File Lawsuits Against the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The list of lawsuits against the Labor Department got longer as two more industry groups joined three others in taking aim at the fiduciary rule in court. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez has vowed to vigorously defend the rule.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

Carriers Join Fourth Lawsuit Against DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The Indexed Annuity Leadership Council filed a fourth lawsuit today against the Department of Labor and Secretary Thomas Perez over its controversial fiduciary rule. It is the first lawsuit featuring carriers as plaintiffs. American Equity Investment Life Insurance is among the four carriers joining IALC in the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas.

Source: Insurancenewsnet.com, June 2016

Business and Trade Groups Bring First Lawsuits Challenging DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Several groups representing financial institutions, insurance companies, and other businesses filed two federal lawsuits that seek to strike down the DOL’s recently finalized fiduciary rule. As described here, the plaintiffs are alleging that the DOL did not have the regulatory authority to issue the fiduciary rule and related exemptions, and that DOL did not follow the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Source: Groom.com, June 2016

Lawsuit Against DOL Fiduciary Rule Seen as 'Weak'

Abstract: Opponents have finally filed an anticipated lawsuit challenging the Labor Department's rule to raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts, but some observers say arguments levied against the regulation are flimsy and exaggerated. Knowledgeable sources say the DOL has the authority to write rules governing who is and isn't a fiduciary in both the ERISA-plan world and IRA market.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

Labor Secretary Perez Defends Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today issued this statement regarding a lawsuit filed to stop the DOL's recently released fiduciary rule.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2016

Lawsuit Challenges DOL's Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Retirement industry trade groups filed on June 1st a legal challenge to the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule for brokers and registered investment advisers serving Americans with Individual Retirement Accounts and 401k plans.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2016

Trump and the Fiduciary Rule

Fiduciary Rule Kill Bill Clears Hurdle

Abstract: The House Financial Services Committee gave its stamp of approval to the latest attempt to block the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule. The committee passed the Protecting Advice for Small Savers (PASS) Act Of 2017, moving it a step closer to a full vote.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, October 2017

Bill Would Repeal Fiduciary Rule, Part of Dodd-Frank

Abstract: A bill repealing some of the major provisions of Dodd-Frank and the DOL's fiduciary rule will move to the House floor for a vote this week, something that did not happen in previous sessions for similar legislation. That said, even if the House passes it, its chances in the Senate are bleak.

Source: Asppa.org, June 2017

Acosta Looking to Freeze DOL Fiduciary Regulation

Abstract: Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta says the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is his number one priority, and that he is actively seeking a way to freeze the rule that will "stick."

Source: Asppa.org, May 2017

DOL Bucking Trump on Fiduciary Rule? Former Officials Say No

Abstract: Critics of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule claim that by letting some portions of the rule take effect in June, the department is standing in the way of President Donald Trump's directive to review the rule. But former DOL officials interviewed by Bloomberg BNA say these accusations are greatly exaggerated and ignore how the agency and rulemaking works.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), May 2017

Preliminary Analysis of Trump Memorandum on the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Finding No. (i) would be subjective and require the DOL to determine the regulation causes "harm." Finding No. (ii) would similarly be subjective and require it to conclude that the regulation "adversely" affects investors or retirees. Finding No. (iii), however, is objectively a slam dunk. There is no question that if there are millions of written BICE agreements in circulation, it will necessarily increase the number of potential breach of contract claims filed by investors, particularly after a significant market correction.

Source: Linkedin.com, February 2017

Text of the Presidential Memorandum on Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: This is the text of the Presidential Memorandum on Fiduciary Duty Rule issued by President Thump on Friday, February 03, 2017.

Source: Whitehouse.gov, February 2017

Final Trump Memo Lacks Explicit Directive to Delay DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The final version of a memo sent by President Donald Trump on Friday to the Department of Labor directs the agency to review a sweeping investment-advice rule but does not contain an explicit delay of the April 10 implementation date.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), February 2017

What You Need to Know About Trump's Plan to Halt DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The DOL is being directed to examine the fiduciary duty rule to determine whether it may adversely affect the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information and financial advice. As part of this examination, the DOL is expected to prepare an updated economic and legal analysis concerning the likely impact of the rule.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), February 2017

Trump Administration and the State of the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: This brief represents the current understanding of the new administration's plan, but there are a couple of key steps that have yet to be fully explained. Nevertheless, it provides the latest information at this time.

Source: Linkedin.com, January 2017

Delay Seems Likely, But Confusion Remains on DOL Fiduciary Rule Future

Abstract: Conflicting media reports have started to circulate, some to the effect that a delay of the DOL fiduciary rule has already been effectuated, but others are skeptical that this is even possible.

Source: Planadviser.com, January 2017

DOL Fiduciary Rule Will Be Undone in a Cruel Twist

Abstract: Perhaps the biggest legislative effort since 1940 to put client interests ahead of Wall Street will be allowed to effectively die in a Texas court at the hands of what was once deemed to be a two-bit lawsuit, according to Jason Roberts, CEO of the Pension Resource Institute in Los Angeles.

Source: Riabiz.com, January 2017

Gauging the Future of the DOL Fiduciary Rule in the Trump Era

Abstract: With the presidential election victory of Donald Trump and the success of Republicans in holding majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the immediate future of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule has been cast into some doubt. A recent analysis explores what its prospects may be.

Source: Asppa.org, January 2017

Congressman Introduces Bill Delaying DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson introduced a bill today that would provide for a 2-year delay in the effective date of the Department of Labor rule relating to the definition of the term fiduciary.

Source: Joewilson.house.gov, January 2017

Webinars on the Topic

A Closer Look at the Final Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Vanguard's Stephanie Napier and Frank Nessel discuss how the DOL final rule expanding the definition of a fiduciary will affect retirement plans. Offer candid views on: Why the DOL expanded the definition of a fiduciary, how the final rule differs from earlier DOL proposals, and how the final rule impacts plan sponsors and participants.

Source: Vanguard.com, June 2016

The DOL's New Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: This is a detailed and extensive look at the DOL's new fiduciary rule by Marcia Wagner of the Wagner Law Group. It is approximately one hour and 25 minutes in length.

Source: Youtube.com, April 2016

Law Experts Take an In-Depth Look at the DOL's Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Alexander Ryan and David Olstein, of the Groom Law Group, take an in-depth look at the DOL's new fiduciary regulation and its impact on retirement investors and financial institutions in this 23 minute video.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, May 2016

Dissecting the Department of Labor's Final Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: This 26-minute audio conference on the DOL's final rule to re-define who is rendered a "fiduciary" of an employee benefit plan under ERISA. Reviews changes made in the final rule and what it means for your business and retirement plans.

Source: Littler.com, May 2016


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