A U.S. circuit court struck down the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, dealing a blow to the retirement-savings regulation that has been in partial effect since June.
We continue to wait-and-see how the DOL proceeds and whether a rehearing or appeal will be sought.
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Danielle Verbrigghe of FT’s Fund Fire interviewed me on the state fiduciary developments, including the latest on Maryland. I discussed many of the initiatives that are taking place prior to action by the SEC and next steps by the DOL, and said, in part: “Certainly, that does raise the specter of a confusing patchwork of regulations, potentially, if the various states take different approaches. And they seem to be taking different approaches.” The full article can be found here (subscription required)
Kristen Ricaurte Knebel interviewed me for Bloomberg Law’s Pension & Benefits Daily, called “States Look to Help Investors, With Fiduciary Rule in Flux”. It’s a strong piece. I summed up my view of the current state of play: “We’re in a state of purgatory where we haven’t seen changes from the DOL yet, although we expect them. We haven’t seen anything from the SEC, but we know they’re working on it. It puts the industry in a tough spot right now.”
The Labor Department is continuing to review the controversial Obama-era fiduciary rule to see if any changes should be made to it. Several states have decided they aren’t waiting for the outcome to try to protect some investors.
Interesting data from Jennifer DeLong and her good team at AllianceBernstein on the misunderstanding of which activities and roles trigger fiduciary status. A better understanding is all the more important considering that some are conflating the extension of the DOL Fiduciary Rule’s transition period with reduced/no fiduciary duties!
I penned an op-ed in Pensions & Investments on why fiduciaries should consider their best execution obligations in connection with rebates paid to broker-dealers by trading venues. (subscription required)