The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a 60-day delay of the applicability date for its conflict of interest rule and the accompanying exemptions. The industry was clearly surprised—expecting a delay closer to 180 days, which was widely reported as the time frame that the DOL was seeking. The regulations were effective as of June 2016; however, the delay has moved the applicability date for both the regulations and the accompanying new exemptions from April 10 to June 9, 2017.
The purpose of the delay is to allow the DOL to comply with the presidential memorandum dated February 3, 2017, which directed the DOL to determine if the rule would adversely affect the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information and financial advice. Delaying the rule will let the DOL perform its examination without allowing the rule or the new exemptions to become applicable. The DOL will then be able to reach a determination about the economic and legal impacts as dictated by the memorandum.
The comment period for the extension of the fiduciary rule is 15 days, with a comment period for examination ordered by the memorandum of 45 days. Both periods begin as soon as the notices are published in the Federal Register, which is expected in the coming days.
CAPTRUST will continue to perform its duties in a fiduciary capacity and is ready to answer any questions you may have about this delay or the fiduciary regulations.