Today, the Labor Department revealed in a legal filing that it has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a proposal to delay remaining aspects of the fiduciary rule until July 1, 2019.
Statement from Josh Lichtenstein:
The DOL’s filing in the ongoing Thrivent litigation provides a clear indication that it intends to significantly extend the transition period under the fiduciary rule. If this new transition period is on the same terms as the current transition relief then firms will still be subject to the terms of fiduciary rule, including the substantive requirements of the Best Interest Contract Exemption, if applicable, but the documentary, disclosure, and technological requirements under the Best Interest Contract Exemption will not apply. If this proposed delay takes effect then the DOL will have greater freedom to alter the requirements of the Best Interest Contract Exemption or to create new, stream lined exemptions before the new July 1, 2019 effective date. This proposed delay could be seen, in part, as an attempt to avoid having financial institutions make further changes to their practices before the DOL makes final decisions on what the rule and the related exemptions will look like.