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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 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

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

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

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

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

Trump and the Fiduciary Rule

DOL Issues Temporary Enforcement Relief for Fiduciary Rule Non-Compliance

Abstract: This article discusses the two scenarios in which the DOL will not take enforcement action for non-compliance with the fiduciary rule during this period of uncertainty. it also provides suggestions on how advisers and financial institutions should proceed while we wait to see what happens with the fiduciary rule.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, March 2017

DOL Issues Bulletin to Ease Confusion Over Near-Term Fiduciary Rule Compliance

Abstract: Basically, the DOL said that regardless of what decision they make on the fiduciary rule -- whether to delay or not to delay -- they won't enforce violations and won't bring enforcement against firms for violations in the near term.

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

Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2017-01

Abstract: This 3-page document announces a temporary enforcement policy related to the Department of Labor's recent proposal to extend for sixty days the applicability date of the final rule defining who is a "fiduciary" under the ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

Source: Dol.gov, March 2017

Comments of the DOLs Proposed Delay of Applicability Dates of the Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposed extension of the applicability dates of the fiduciary rule and related exemptions, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption, from April 10 to June 9, 2017. The DOL is accepting public comments on the proposed extension for 15 days following its publication. The comments received so far are published here.

Source: Dol.gov, March 2017

DOL Proposes Delay of Fiduciary Rule Applicability Date

Abstract: The Department of Labor published a proposed rule to delay the applicability date of the fiduciary advice regulation and related exemptions. The delay would extend the date from April 10 to June 9. To be clear, this is not an extension of the applicability date, just a proposal to extend it. It still needs to go through a regulatory process.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, March 2017

DOL Files for Delay in Fiduciary Rule Applicability Date

Abstract: It looks like that much-anticipated delay in the applicability date of the DOL fiduciary regulation might be a reality, or at least on its way to becoming one. Late Thursday evening, Feb. 9, the DOL sent documents to the Office of Management and Budget for approval, citing sources familiar with the agency's actions.

Source: Napa-net.org, February 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

DOL Fiduciary Reform Effort Losing Steam

Abstract: The DOL's fiduciary rule reform effort, more than a decade in the making, seems more likely than ever to finally stall, according to a variety of industry experts called upon to interpret the likely impact of a Trump Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress on the employer-sponsored retirement planning market.

Source: Plansponsor.com, January 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

Lawsuits Against the Rule

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

Other Articles and Papers

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

How Far-Reaching is the DOL Fiduciary Rule?

Abstract: While the rules apply "only" to retirement plans, this includes individual retirement accounts and can also reach into unanticipated areas not obvious at first glance.

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

Custodians Help Advisers Navigate DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Custodians have morphed into consultants for registered investment advisory firms, navigating them through an increasingly complex regulatory landscape.

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

FAQ for Financial Advisors on the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: This compilation of frequently asked questions was developed by the Insured Retirement Institute to provide general information for financial advisors about the Department of Labor's recently adopted fiduciary rule (sometimes referred to as the "conflicts of interest" rule).

Source: Myirionline.org, August 2016

The Cost of Complying With the DOL's Fiduciary Regulation

Abstract: A couple of large advisory firms have put a public price tag on the costs of their compliance with the Department of Labor's fiduciary regulation.

Source: Abglobal.com, August 2016

"Co-Fiduciary" Could Make DC Plan Sponsors "Co-Defendants"

Abstract: The new Fiduciary Rule from the US Department of Labor primarily affects financial advisors. But DC plan sponsors also face added responsibilities: some plan provider services may unexpectedly create a co-fiduciary status for plan sponsors that they didn't have before.

Source: Abglobal.com, August 2016

Protecting Plan Sponsors and Plan Participants Under the BICE Exemption

Abstract: With the effective date of DOL's new fiduciary standard and the Best Interests Contract Exemption (BICE) coming in less than a year, a question that has been raised in some legal circles is whether BICE will provide yet another basis for actions against both plan sponsors and plans.

Source: Iainsight.wordpress.com, July 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule's 'Grandfathering' Exemption May Be Lost by Changing Firms

Abstract: Regulatory experts believe there's a strong likelihood advisers would lose the grandfathering exemption granted under the DOL rule simply by switching RIAs or broker-dealers.

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

The Short Scoop on Wall Street's Claim That the DOL Rule Is Too Long

Abstract: The broker-dealers and insurance companies have recently berated the Department of Labor's fiduciary rules for their length and complexity. But the core of the DOL's rule is only 237 words and the DOL's strong effort to accommodate Wall Street compensation practices was the reason for the rules' reputed length.

Source: Riabiz.com, July 2016

Technical Corrections to Best Interest Contract and Principal Transaction Exemptions

Abstract: The DOL has published technical corrections to two of the exemptions issued in conjunction with its final rule expanding ERISA's definition of investment advice fiduciary. The principal clarifications included in these releases are summarized here.

Source: Sutherland.com, July 2016

Technical Corrections to BIC and Principal Transactions Exemptions Released

Abstract: The DOL released technical corrections to the Best Interest Contract Exemption as well as to the Principal Transactions Exemption. These corrections attempt to address certain technical concerns raised by the retirement services industry.

Source: Groom.com, July 2016

Tips for Drafting Best-Interest Contracts Under DOL Rule

Abstract: The DOL's fiduciary rule provides for a new best interest contract exemption available to broker-dealers in connection with their activity with respect to individual retirement accounts. This article discuss what practitioners should consider when drafting BIC contracts in order to provide protections to their firm.

Source: Sutherland.com, July 2016

Tips For Drafting Best-Interest Contracts Under DOL Rule

Abstract: The DOL's fiduciary rule provides for a new best interest contract exemption available to broker-dealers in connection with their activity with respect to individual retirement accounts. This article discuss what practitioners should consider when drafting BIC contracts in order to provide protections to their firm.

Source: Sutherland.com, July 2016

DOL's Fiduciary Rule and Its Impact on the Retail Investor Marketplace

Abstract: The purpose of this 16-page paper is to: (i) provide a summary of the definition of "invest. Advice" under the Final Regulation; (ii) discuss the impact of the Final Regulation and the prohibited transaction exemptions, particularly the BIC and PTE 84-24, on the distribution of products and services; and (iii) provide some recommendations on how to proceed.

Source: Groom.com, July 2016

The Cold Comfort of the Best Interest Contract Exemption

Abstract: The BIC Exemption comes at a steep price, imposing extensive compliance costs in the form of new disclosure requirements, as well as new policies and procedures requirements, discussed in depth in this 10-page brief prepared by the law firm Latham & Watkins. The exemption also substantially increases litigation risk by providing IRA and other retirement plan investors a new private enforcement right against financial advisers.

Source: Lw.com, June 2016

Under New Fiduciary Rule, DOL Has Reason to Pay Attention to Reverse Churning

Abstract: In a nutshell, reverse churning occurs when an adviser places client assets in an advisory account, charges an ongoing management fee, and gets paid for doing little or nothing thereafter. The SEC and Finra have had this regulatory matter on their radar for years. Now, under the new fiduciary rule, the DOL has reason to pay attention to the problem and it's clear they will.

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

Fiduciary Rule's Impact on IRAs Should Be No Surprise

Abstract: During the course of the DOL's development of its recently released final fiduciary rule, a common industry challenge has been whether IRAs should be covered by the rule. Considering the DOL was given rule making authority over Code section 4975 in 1978, it should come as no surprise that IRAs are subject to the same recently issued final rule.

Source: Ascensus.com, June 2016

Rollovers Under the Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Article answers this question, "I'm an adviser who provides investment advice to ERISA plan committees. I also provide wealth management and financial planning services to individuals. Under the final DOL fiduciary rule, will I be able to advise plan participants or wealth management clients about their distribution options under a plan or an IRA?"

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2016

The Final DOL Fiduciary Rule -- Considerations for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: While the rule's most dramatic effects are likely to be on IRAs and their investment providers, ERISA plan fiduciaries need to be cognizant of the provisions directed towards them and the actions they will need to take given the sea change in this area.

Source: Morganlewis.com, June 2016

The DOL's New Fiduciary Rule: Capturing the Apparent Conflict at the "Moment of Rollover"

Abstract: Under the DOL's final fiduciary rule, a financial organization or adviser is acting as a fiduciary when advising a retail client to take a rollover or distribution from an ERISA plan or individual retirement account, even if the rollover or distribution recommendation is not accompanied by an investment recommendation. This four-page paper focuses on the impact of the final rule on the business of accumulating assets through capturing rollovers and plan distributions.

Source: Shearman.com, June 2016

Conflict of Interest Rule Checklist

Abstract: The DOL's new fiduciary rule primarily affects service providers and advisors rather than plan sponsors, but this simple checklist can help you understand how services may change for your retirement benefits.

Source: Lockton.com, June 2016

The Final Fiduciary Rule: Impact on Investment Managers

Abstract: This article describes the potential impact of the Fiduciary Rule on investment managers and the exceptions under the rule upon which investment managers may seek to rely in order to avoid triggering fiduciary status in connection with their marketing activities.

Source: Groom.com, June 2016

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Six Immediate Concerns for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: The DOL's final conflict of interest rule redefines fiduciary investment advice under ERISA. Although the rule does not alter a plan sponsor's basic fiduciary obligations, it will impact the plan's relationships with its service providers. This five-page paper details six immediate concerns that plan sponsors need to address.

Source: Ipbtax.com, June 2016

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