Acosta Says Parts of Fiduciary Rule Will Be Effective June 9

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By Kristen Ricaurte Knebel

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta won’t put the brakes on the portions of the DOL’s fiduciary rule that are set to take effect in a matter of weeks, he announced May 22 in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

The announcement dashes the hopes of many in the financial services industry who wanted a more substantial delay. Acosta said after considering the record and the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, there is “no principled legal basis to change the June 9 date” for the definition of the term fiduciary and the impartial conduct standards.

The DOL delayed portions of the Obama administration’s regulatory package that aimed to reduce the allegedly conflicted investment advice given to retirement savers until June 9. Other portions of the rule are delayed until at least Jan. 1, 2018, while the rule is under a presidentially mandated review by the agency.

Acosta hinted in the op-ed piece that changes to portions of the rule that are delayed until at least Jan. 1, 2018, may see changes after a notice and comment period. “Certainly, it is important to ensure that savers and retirees receive prudent investment advice, but doing so in a way that limits choice and benefits lawyers is not what this administration envisions,” Acosta said.

The DOL also announced on May 22 a temporary enforcement policy for the rule and issued a set of frequently asked questions on the rule’s transition period.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Ricaurte Knebel in Washington at kknebel@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bna.com

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