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NAFA, DOL Drop Appeal Against Fiduciary Rule

March 28, 2018

On Friday, the National Association for Fixed Annuities and the Department of Labor agreed to voluntarily dismiss NAFA’s appeal challenging the DOL’s fiduciary rule, just days after the rule was vacated in the Fifth Circuit, Law360.com writes.

Earlier in March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had overturned the fiduciary rule requiring securities brokers to act in their clients’ best interest when it comes to retirement accounts, and the DOL doesn’t plan on enforcing the rule anymore.

On Friday the trade group and the agency dropped the appeal NAFA had filed in response to a November 2016 D.C. district court ruling the DOL had the authority to roll out the rule, according to Law360.com. According to NAFA executive director Chip Anderson, the Fifth Circuit decision made his group’s appeal moot, the legal news website writes.

“This ruling vindicates both NAFA’s and the Fifth Circuit plaintiffs’ chief concerns, and, as a result, we see no reason to continue to pursue our litigation in another federal circuit court,” he said, according to Law360.com.

A representative for the Department of Justice, which represents the DOL, didn’t immediately respond to the website’s request for comment.

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The DOL’s rule went into partial effect in June but the agency decided to officially delay its final implementation date until the summer of 2019, following a directive from President Donald Trump to review the rule’s effects on the industry and retail investors. The agency has been fighting opponents of the rule in the legislature and in the courts — where it had been mostly successful until the Fifth Circuit decision.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Law360 article cited in this story, click here if you have a paid subscription.