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Fiduciary rule follies: court ruling creates presidential dilemmas

Joe Mont | February 14, 2017

A message for firms struggling to prepare for the Labor Department’s updated fiduciary duty rule: good luck, you may need it.

The rule, controversial since its conception, is taking a convoluted path to adoption and execution. In the span of just seven days, there was a Presidential Memorandum punting the rule back to the Labor Department for further review, a court decision that decisively upheld its legality and constitutionality, and an awaited Trump Administration response that has yet to materialize.

In April 2016, the Labor Department finalized a new rule that creates a fiduciary duty for brokers and registered investment advisers who offer retirement advice. The rule—scheduled to be phased in between April 10, 2017 and Jan. 1, 2018—expands the “investment advice fiduciary” definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The rule provides exemptions that, if applied for and granted, would allow covered advisers to maintain fee-based... To get the full story, subscribe now.