DOL Fiduciary Duty Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule regulatory package was released on April 6, 2016, following a comment period and public hearings. It has withstood several legal challenges, a change in administration following the November 2016 presidential election and a brief delay, becoming applicable on June 9, 2017. Additional requirements to comply with the Rule’s exemptions are scheduled to become applicable on January 1, 2018, although a further delay is quite possible in light of the DOL’s Request for Information seeking public input on the advisability of such a delay.

In addition, the SEC issued a request for public comments on standards of conduct for investment advisors and broker-dealers to cover non-retirement accounts given the mandate for a federal uniform fiduciary standard under the Dodd-Frank Act, and some state regulators (e.g., Nevada) have also enacted similar regulation.

The DOL Fiduciary Rule significantly expands the definition of investment advice as it relates to employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts, expanding the universe of individuals and firms who will be considered fiduciaries subject to the stringent fiduciary standards of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.  Because a fiduciary is required to act in the “best interest” of the investor, firms have been working to revise their business models to demonstrate that the advice they provide to retirement investors is in investors’ best interest.

With ~50% of US retail financial assets in retirement accounts, the DOL Fiduciary Rule has driven significant changes to product, pricing, compensation, compliance regimes, technology and operations practices at US wealth managers, asset managers, retirement platform providers and annuities manufacturers and distributors.


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7 Day Yield Special Edition: Will the election impact the DOL Fiduciary Rule?

In this special edition, PwC's Global Wealth Management Leader, Michael Spellacy, explains why the Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule is getting a lot of attention from the new administration.

How PwC can help

Team of dedicated DOL specialists

Our team of dedicated DOL specialists have in-depth knowledge of the financial services sector and the intricacies of ERISA regulations. Our PwC and Strategy& teams bring functional expertise across strategy, operations/technology and compliance/regulation, thus providing an end-to-end solution from strategy through execution.

Accelerator toolkit and proven methodology

We have developed a set of accelerators/tools that can help clients meet the tight timelines that are likely to be required for compliance - these include baselining and impact assessment frameworks, templates for operating model assessment, execution roadmapping tools, and templatized business and functional requirements documents. These tools have been deployed and refined over multiple client engagements.

Webinars and roundtables

Our upcoming series of webinars and roundtables will focus on enabling valuable interaction between senior executives on the topic of regulation implications and implementation planning across the sectors of wealth management, asset management and insurance/annuities.


In the press

Financial Planning: Will Fiduciary Rule Spur New Lawsuits Against Advisors?
April 19, 2016

InvestmentNews: Variable and fixed-indexed annuities feel sting of DOL fiduciary rule
April 6, 2016

Video - CNBC Closing Bell: New Rules on Retirement Savings
April 6, 2016

InvestmentNews: DOL Fiduciary Rule will Transform the Annuity Industry
February 21, 2016

Contact us

Dan Ryan
Financial Services Advisory Leader
Tel: +1 (646) 471 8488

Michael Spellacy
Global Wealth Management Leader
Tel: +1 (646) 471 2076

Arjun Saxena
Principal, Financial Services Advisory, Asset & Wealth Management
Tel: +1 (212) 551 6411

Chris Joline
Principal, Financial Services Advisory, Insurance
Tel: +1 (646) 471 5659

Lisa Herrnson
Managing Director, ERISA Advisory
Tel: +1 (646) 471 8227