DOL fiduciary rule: Beyond the headlines

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DOL fiduciary rule: Beyond the headlines

Despite recent news about delay or repeal of the DOL fiduciary rule, changes to the wealth management industry may be here to stay.

On February 3rd, the Trump administration issued a Presidential Memorandum instructing the Department of Labor (DOL) to re-examine its fiduciary rule, but did not specifically recommend a delay as many expected. Under the rule, investment advice given to an employee benefit plan or an individual retirement investor is considered fiduciary advice and therefore must be in the “best interest” of the investor.

Although the DOL is still likely to delay the rule’s upcoming April 10, 2017 compliance date, we nevertheless expect the industry to move toward a fiduciary standard not only because consumers continue to demand transparency, but also because many firms realize the importance of removing conflicts of interest between financial advisers and retirement investors.

This Regulatory brief analyzes the effects of a delay on the DOL’s fiduciary duty rule, describes steps that the industry has already taken to comply, and offers our view on how firms should proceed.


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