OMB Finishes Review of Fiduciary Rule, Release Imminent

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By Kristen Ricaurte Knebel

April 4 — The final version of the DOL's hotly contested fiduciary rule has cleared another hurdle on its march toward finalization: the review stage at the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

The Department of Labor's rule, designed to strengthen standards financial advisers have to meet in working with retirement savers, was cleared April 3, according to the OMB's website.

The retirement and investment industries have been abuzz with rumors about exactly when the rule will come out. While there have been reports that it will be released April 6, Bloomberg BNA hasn't been able to confirm that date. But the clearance of the rule by the OMB makes the report of the April 6 date seem likely.

The DOL proposed the rule in April 2015. It would require brokers to work under a fiduciary duty when working with retirement investors, meaning they would have to act in the clients' best interest. Presently, they are held to a “suitability” standard, meaning they can sell products that generally fit an investor's needs and tolerance for risk .

The Obama administration has gotten pressure from a variety of sources to pull the plug on the rule, including from congressional Democrats and Republicans.

For its part, the OMB had been holding meetings with stakeholders through the review process. In one of the more recent meetings, the agency met with Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) .

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

For More Information

A copy of the OMB notice on the rule is at http://src.bna.com/dPw.