The DOL Fiduciary Rule…DELAYED!
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has delayed the applicability date of the “new rule” requiring an array of investment advice offerings to conform to a fiduciary standard, which we described in our February 8, 2017 blog. Instead of working toward an April 10, 2017 implementation date, various advice providers will have until June 9, 2017 to comply with the rules concerning impartiality, appropriate compensation and avoiding misleading statements.
In addition to delaying the “best interest” standards to June, the DOL’s extension delays until January 1, 2018 the requirement that written acknowledgement of a provider’s fiduciary status be provided to investors, which includes written acknowledgement of material conflicts of interest.
Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting recognizes the potential for the delay to be extended further; the DOL continues to accept industry comments through April 17, 2017, and is enabled to conduct its analysis of the legal and financial impact of the new rule until January 1, 2018.
Meanwhile, several participant advice service providers have announced that they will continue to deliver their current education/guidance or advice services until more is certain about the outcome of the new rule. If your plan’s fiduciary committee has already signed a service amendment to allow 3(21) plan participant advice, we recommend that you ask your service provider how the delay impacts your plan participants.
We will continue to monitor this developing matter.
Sara Hakim is a Senior Investment Consultant in Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting; co-leader of Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting’s national Managed Accounts Research Team and is based in Norwalk, CT. Bridget Steinhart is an Associate Partner in AHIC’s DC Plan Consulting team, leads AHIC’s Qualified Fiduciary Consulting team and is based in St. Louis, MO.
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