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Another delay in fiduciary rule could result in substantial revision

Joe Mont | August 22, 2017

Good news arrived earlier this month for firms struggling with—and protesting against—pending requirements of the Department of Labor’s controversial fiduciary duty rule.

In an Aug. 9 legal brief, the Labor Department announced that it had petitioned the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for a delay in key aspects of the rule. The request, most likely a formality as it awaits approval, calls for the extension of the transition period and delay of applicability dates from Jan. 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019. The first phase of compliance obligations already began on June 9.

The filing was part of the ongoing matter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans v. Acosta, one of several lawsuits objecting to aspects of the rule. “This step provides for interagency review in preparation for publication in the Federal Register,” the Labor Department wrote.

More than a catch-its-breath request, however, the proposed delay is significant on multiple...

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