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DOL Unveils Temporary Policy on Fiduciary Rule

March 14, 2017

The Department of Labor says it will not go after firms that don’t immediately comply with its fiduciary rule given the uncertain status of a proposed delay, ThinkAdvisor writes.

On March 2, following a memorandum from President Donald Trump, the DOL proposed a 60-day delay of the implementation of the rule, which purports to require retirement brokers to put clients’ interests first and was originally scheduled to go into effect April 10.

The agency’s Employee Benefits Security Administration unveiled a temporary enforcement policy last week to alleviate possible concerns about complying with the rule, according to ThinkAdvisor. Specifically, EBSA says the DOL will not initiate enforcement actions against advisors and firms that don’t comply with the rule during a possible “gap” period arising after April 10 – if the rule does eventually get delayed after that date, the publication writes.

If the rule doesn’t get delayed, the DOL will not go after advisors who don’t comply with the rule as long as they take steps such as sending required disclosure documents to their retirement clients “within a reasonable period” after a decision is reached not to delay the April 10 implementation date – even if that decision is reached after April 10, according to the publication.


The EBSA says the temporary enforcement policy was driven in part by concerns submitted during the 15-day comment period on the delay, ThinkAdvisor writes.

As of last week, the agency had received hundreds of comments on its proposal to delay the rule from both supporters and opponents of the regulation. The DOL also says it still expects to make a ruling on the delay prior to April 10, according to ThinkAdvisor.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the ThinkAdvisor article cited in this story, click here.