DOL Fiduciary Rule Implementation: The Clock is Ticking

Much ink has been shed on the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule since it was released earlier this year. Some have embraced the new rule and welcome it with open arms, while others have filed lawsuits to prevent its implementation. Love it or hate it, the notion of what it means to be a fiduciary to an ERISA plan or IRA has been completely overhauled.
 
While the nuances of the new rule and its practical impact to the financial advisory community will be addressed at length at Loring Ward’s National Education Conference at the end of this month, here are five initial points to keep in mind:
 

  1. It will be much more difficult for a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer to avoid being a fiduciary to an ERISA plan or IRA. The “test” for what triggers fiduciary status has been simplified and streamlined, making it much easier to trigger.
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Are You Prepared for the New Fiduciary Standards?

After years of intense debate, on January 28 the Department of Labor (DOL) advanced its conflict-of-interest fiduciary regulations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review.
 
These rules change the definition of a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to expand upon who will be subject to strict fiduciary standards and prohibited transaction rules under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. As such, they will have a significant effect on those who recommend or market investment-related products and services to “retirement investors” in employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts. Continue reading