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COLLECTED WISDOM™ on the DOL's Final Fiduciary Rule on Conflicts of Interest

On April 6, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule defining the term fiduciary for investment and brokers providing investment advice to participants and beneficiaries of employee benefit plans governed by ERISA and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The final rule comes after the proposed rule issued on April 14, 2015 and makes several modifications and clarifications based on numerous comments received from the industry.

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.

If you find a broken link or an items that you feel is outdate, irrelevant or no longer appropriate, please let us know.

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


Overview Articles

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

General Articles and Papers

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

DOL Announces No Claims Against Fiduciaries During Phased Implementation Period

Abstract: DOL Issues FAB 2017-02 Announcing that the DOL will not pursue claims against fiduciaries working in good faith to comply with the fiduciary investment advice regulation and the related prohibited transaction exemptions before January 1, 2018.

Source: Westlaw.com, May 2017

Fiduciary Rule: Some Conflict, Lots of Interest

Abstract: Now that the new DOL secretary, Alexander Acosta, has announced that the DOL will not be seeking a further delay of the applicability date of the fiduciary rule and will be focusing its efforts on the examination, attention is shifting to the institution comment letters. What did they urge the DOL to do with its examination? This article summarizes the institution comment letters and offers a few observations regarding key issues and concerns.

Source: Sutherland.com, May 2017

Win the Battle, Lose the War? The Fiduciary Rule Moves Forward

Abstract: The DOL has confirmed that the initial June 9 compliance date for the Fiduciary Rule will not be postponed. Secretary Acosta reportedly shares the Trump administration's position regarding the Rule, so it would be wrong to read this as anything other than a short-term victory for the Rule's supporters. So, what happens on June 9?

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, May 2017

DOL's Fiduciary Rule Improves Target-Date Funds

Abstract: The DOL Fiduciary Rule goes into effect June 9, 2017, despite expectations of a cancellation. Most believe the Rule is for the retail investor, but it will also help target-date fund beneficiaries immensely. This article discusses the four TDF fiduciary practices that will need to improve to meet the Best Interest Standards.

Source: Seekingalpha.com, May 2017

Acosta Declines to Extend Delay of DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta confirmed Monday night that the agency's fiduciary rule will become applicable on June 9. His decision is a victory for supporters of the rule.

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

DOL's Conflict of Interest FAQ (Transition Period)

Abstract: This 11-page FAQ was just released by the DOL and provides additional information on the transition period from June 9, 2017 to January 1, 2018. This guidance, like the Fiduciary Rule and related exemptions, is generally limited to advice concerning investments in IRAs, ERISA-covered plans, and other plans covered by section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Source: Dol.gov, May 2017

DOL's Fiduciary Rule Enforcement: 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, May 2017

Dodd-Frank Overhaul Could Cause Fiduciary Rule Mess

Abstract: A major overhaul of the Dodd-Frank Act that would also repeal the DOL's fiduciary rule could cause a mess for the financial services industry if it is enacted after the rule's June 9 applicability date.

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

Survey: In Whose Best Interest?

Abstract: This survey from Financial Engines shows that Americans overwhelmingly favor the intent of the DOL's fiduciary rule. According to the survey, 93 percent of Americans think financial advisors who provide retirement advice should be legally required to put their clients’ best interest first. However, more than half of respondents (53 percent) mistakenly believe that all financial advisors are already legally required to put the best interests of their clients first.

Source: Financialengines.com, April 2017

June 9th: Strict Fiduciary Obligations to Arise?

Abstract: According to Ron Rhoades, the adoption of the DOL's "definition of fiduciary" and "impartial conduct standards" -- now effective June 9, 2017 -- will have larger impacts on financial services than many might imagine.

Source: Scholarfp.blogspot.com, April 2017

Early Evidence on the Department of Labor Conflict of Interest Rule

Abstract: In response to the DOL's fiduciary rule, investment management companies are creating two new share classes for their mutual funds. This 10-page paper examines the potential of these new share classes to help investors save for retirement.

Source: Morningstar.com, April 2017

Rollovers Under the DOL's Final Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The DOL issued its final regulation on the extension of the applicability date for the fiduciary definition and the related exemptions. This article discusses the impact of those changes on fiduciary status for recommendations to plan participants to take distributions and roll it over to IRAs.

Source: Fredreish.com, April 2017

More 401k Advisers Face Litigation Risk in June Under DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: A greater number of advisers and firms servicing 401k plans and their participants could be at risk of litigation in a few months' time, when implementation of some provisions of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule are set to kick in. This is due to the details of the recently finalized delay to the fiduciary rule issued last week by the Trump administration, as well as nuances of the regulation and its interplay with federal retirement law.

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

DOL Releases Final Extension of Applicability Date

Abstract: On April 4, 2017, the DOL released for public inspection its final regulation extending the applicability date of the Fiduciary Rule from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017 as well as providing additional transition relief through the end of the year. While the final extension offers some relief, it is a mixed bag.

Source: Groom.com, April 2017

DOL Releases Final Rule Delaying Fiduciary Implementation

Abstract: The DOL released a final rule Tuesday delaying the implementation of its fiduciary duty regulation. Under the delay measure, which was posted on the Federal Register website, the fiduciary rule's April 10 applicability date is pushed back to June 9.

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

IRS Issues Temporary Enforcement Policy in Line With DOL FAB 2017-01

Abstract: On the heels of the DOL's temporary enforcement policy concerning the DOL conflict of interest rule and related exemptions, the IRS announced that it is providing relief from excise taxes under Code Section 4975 that conforms to the DOL's temporary enforcement policy described in FAB 2017-01.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, March 2017

How Much Does a Mutual Fund Company Have to Disclose Under the DOL's BIC Exemption?

Abstract: Now that the DOL has adopted new regulations for how financial institutions deal with retirement investors under ERISA, financial institutions have a lot of landscaping to do as it relates to disclosures. This article serves as a practical guide for anyone involved in the process of updating new rules as it relates to the new regulations.

Source: Ssrn.com, March 2017

Morningstar: Fiduciary Rule Litigation Costs Overlooked

Abstract: A report by Morningstar notes that the assessments of executives, policymakers and stock analysts of the DOL's fiduciary rule are missing a key input: the potential class-action litigation cost of using the Best Interest Contract, or BIC, to receive commissions.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, March 2017

As DOL Fiduciary Rule Sits on Ice, Is It Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down for Advisors?

Abstract: Whether the Department of Labor fiduciary rule continues to be delayed, eventually takes effect, or ends up being repealed, the proverbial beans have been spilled, as many advisors and their respective firms have already taken the actions needed to comply, thus proving some areas of debate true and others false.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, March 2017

Disclosure of Noncash Compensation and Third-Party Payments in Response to the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: New resource from ICI working groups explore how fund intermediaries can fulfill disclosure requirements under the DOL fiduciary rule.

Source: Ici.org, February 2017

Two New Sets of DOL Fiduciary Rule FAQs

Abstract: The DOL has released two new sets of frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) regarding the conflict of interest final rule on fiduciary investment advice. One of the new sets of FAQs focuses on the new definition of fiduciary investment advice itself.

Source: Morganlewis.com, January 2017

DOL Releases Second Set of FAQ Guidance on Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The DOL issued a second set of Frequently Asked Questions providing guidance on DOL's rule re-defining who is a fiduciary because of providing invest. advice for a fee. This second set of FAQs addresses interpretive questions about the Fiduciary Rule itself, including several of the important exceptions to fiduciary status included in the rule.

Source: Groom.com, January 2017

What The DOL's Final Fiduciary Rule Means for Plan Committees

Abstract: The author explains that the increase in potential fiduciary liability under ERISA might mean that retirement plan committees members might wish to review and possibly increase their fiduciary liability insurance. Additionally, because of a perceived higher risk of liability as a fiduciary, the fees charged by a service provider that is now being treated as a fiduciary may be higher and that might suggest a reconsideration as to whether those higher fees remain reasonable.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, November 2016

New DOL Fiduciary FAQ Shatters Broker-Dealer Recruiting Deals

Abstract: In a new FAQ regarding the details of the upcoming fiduciary rule, the DOL has now declared that asset and production thresholds to earn recruiting bonuses are considered an "acute conflict of interest" that cannot merely be mitigated and must be avoided.

Source: Kitces.com, November 2016

DOL Releases Guidance on Best Interest Contract

Abstract: The DOL issued a series of 'Frequently Asked Questions' providing much needed guidance concerning the Fiduciary Rule and related prohibited transaction exemptions. Although many of the FAQs merely restate positions DOL articulated in the preambles to the final exemptions issued in April 2016, the FAQs also provide important new clarifications of a number of core issues.

Source: Groom.com, November 2016

Did DOL Fiduciary Rule FAQ Just Fire Warning Shot at Target-Date Fund/Index Fund Fees?

Abstract: Did the DOL just fire a warning shot to those charging adviser fees on top of target-date funds and index funds? A close reading of its just released "Conflict of Interest Exemptions FAQs," the DOL may be suggesting advisers may be overcharging for popular "set-it-and-forget-it" retirement investments.

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

DOL Changes the Landscape: How Will the New Fiduciary Rules Affect Plan Sponsors?

Abstract: Since the DOL issued new rules that go into effect on April 10, 2017, regarding the fiduciary status for purposes of providing investment advice to plans and participants, many plan sponsors have questions about the impact of these new fiduciary rules on them. Plan sponsors should be mindful of how the new fiduciary rules will affect them before the rules go into effect.

Source: Alston.com, October 2016

Mapping a Master Plan to DOL Compliance

Abstract: The DOL Conflict of Interest Rule is expected to have the biggest impact on financial services since ERISA was enacted in 1974. This 3-page paper provides a view of what tasks need to be tackled now, by April 10, 2017 when the new standard goes into effect, during the transition period up to the final ruling (April 10th through year-end), and finally what ongoing processes and checkpoints need to be implemented post-DOL after January 1, 2018.

Source: Broadridge.com, October 2016

Six Steps to Complying with the New Conict of Interest Rule

Abstract: Many plan fiduciaries are not accustomed to testing the regulatory compliance status of their vendors. Although the responsibility to verify a vendor's regulatory status is a challenge for plan fiduciaries, the six-step approach outlined in this 4-page paper can eliminate the guesswork and streamline the work involved.

Source: Rolandcriss.com, October 2016

Fiduciary Rule Will Change DC Plan Fund Menus in 2017

Abstract: The US Department of Labor's Conflict of Interest Rule, commonly known as the fiduciary rule, will cause a surge in mutual funds being reviewed and replaced in employer-sponsored define contribution (DC) retirement plans, even before the Jan. 1, 2018 deadline for full compliance. This is according to a recent Ignites Retirement Research survey of 251 elite plan advisors.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2016

The Limited Fiduciary

Abstract: This is about an implementation of the DOL's fiduciary rule for phone centers and websites that eliminates the high risks, high costs and long time or limiting service that other solutions require.

Source: Dalbar.com, October 2016

The Applicability of the DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule to Financial Advisors

Abstract: The DOL's new Conflicts of Interest rule expands the scope of the definition of "fiduciary" to cover more classes of financial advisors and advisors should not delay in determining their fiduciary status and preparing a plan of action for compliance. This 7-page article addresses common questions related to the final rule and provides recommendations of actions for advisors to take prior to its applicability date.

Source: Winstead.com, October 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule: A To-Do List for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: The authors provide a to-do list for service providers and sponsors of retirement plans and benefit arrangements that are affected by the DOL's recently published regulation expanding the circumstances in which individuals and entities will be deemed to provide fiduciary investment advice.

Source: Sutherland.com, October 2016

Briefing Paper: Assessing Compensation Reasonableness of Retirement Investment Advisers

Abstract: The Best Interest Contract Exemption forces retirement plan advisers to divest all unreasonable compensation. But what exactly is reasonable? This 12-page paper from Dalbar examines this question and offers some answers directly from the orders of the US Supreme Court.

Source: Dalbar.com, September 2016

Briefing Paper: The Work Behind BICE Paperwork

Abstract: Complying with the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) requires a mountain of paperwork that commits, promises, and makes disclosures. Developing this paperwork is an enormous challenge. This 22-page paper summarizes the activities necessary to support the commitments, promises, and disclosures required for those who choose to enter into a best interest contract.

Source: Dalbar.com, September 2016

What the DOL's Final Fiduciary Rule Means for Plan Committees

Abstract: The DOL's Final fiduciary rule is a significant regulatory initiative, and thus it is important to understand how it impacts retirement plan committees' fiduciary responsibilities and committee relationships with plan service providers. This article focuses on some of the implications the new fiduciary rule will have on retirement plan committee responsibilities.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, September 2016

Impact of New Fiduciary Rules on an Excess Fee Lawsuit

Abstract: The drumbeat of new lawsuits against 401k plans, their sponsors, and investment and service providers continues. This 2-page article discusses how these suits may fare under current regulatory guidance and under the DOL's new fiduciary rule once it goes into effect.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, August 2016

Level Fee Fiduciaries and the BICE

Abstract: This 2-page article considers some of the ramifications of the BICE system created by the DOL if an advisor opts to comply with the BIC exemption by limiting their compensation to a level fee.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, August 2016

The New DOL Fiduciary Rule: Impact on Mutual Fund Distribution

Abstract: This 15-page paper addresses the potential impact of the fiduciary investment advice regulations issued by the DOL on the most common fund distribution channels, including: (i) direct sales; (ii) unaffiliated broker-dealers; (iii) affiliated broker-dealers; and (iv) 401k plans and other defined contribution retirement plans.

Source: Dechert.com, August 2016

Navigating the DOL's New Fiduciary Rules: A Game Plan for Broker-Dealers

Abstract: This 22-page paper focuses on the new and amended fiduciary investment advice regulations issued by the Department of Labor, and accompanying prohibited transaction exemptions, from the perspective of broker-dealers and their registered representatives who provide investment advisory services. Includes a discussion of the exemptions that may be available to broker-dealers that are fiduciaries and various compliance considerations.

Source: Dechert.com, August 2016

Lawsuits Against the Rule

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

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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