DOL Fiduciary Rule Temporary Enforcement Delay

Mar 13, 2017

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a field assistance bulletin announcing a temporary enforcement policy intended to eliminate any potential confusion regarding the March 2nd proposal by the agency to delay the fiduciary rule adopted during the Obama Administration. The delay is intended to allow the DOL to fulfill the directive issued by President Trump that the agency examine the potential impact of the fiduciary rule and determine whether it should be repealed or replaced. 

The proposed rule to implement the delay includes a public comment period that lasts until March 17, and it is expected that the agency may require several weeks to finalize the proposed 60-day delay. That means that the delay, if approved by the DOL, will likely not take effect until after the April 10 implementation date of the fiduciary rule. To eliminate any confusion, the DOL’s field assistance bulletin states that, if a delay is not implemented by April 10, the agency will not pursue enforcement action against financial advisors or institutions that fail to “satisfy conditions of the rule or prohibited transaction exemptions.” The bulletin also states that if the DOL decides to not delay the rule and announces its decision after April 10, it will not pursue enforcement action for violations of the fiduciary rule “within a reasonable period after the publication of a decision not to delay the April 10 applicability date.”

ADISA believes that, under the circumstances, it is appropriate for the DOL to delay the implementation date of the rule in order to allow for further study of its likely impact. We recommend, therefore, that our members and friends submit a letter supporting the proposed delay. You can find our sample letter and click-through delivery at “Well over 500 ADISA members have visited our Advocacy Center to see how easy it is to forward notices on to the appropriate agencies. ADISA members and others should use our Advocacy Center to support the DOL’s delay proposal, so that the important work of assessing the Fiduciary Rule’s impact on investor choice can continue,” said John Harrison, ADISA’s Executive Director/CEO.

ADISA will continue to track this important issue and report back to our members as events warrant. For a comprehensive update and education on the fiduciary rule, be sure to attend our 2017 Spring Conference in New Orleans from April 3-5.