Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced there was no reason to further delay the implementation of his department’s fiduciary rule, and thus it will take effect June 9 following its first postponement.
“We have carefully considered the record in this case, and the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, and have found no principled legal basis to change the June 9 date while we seek public input,” Mr Acosta wrote. “Respect for the rule of law leads us to the conclusion that this date cannot be postponed.”
The rule was delayed from April 10 to June 9 after President Donald Trump issued an executive order to have its provisions reviewed, a process which is ongoing.
The Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule requires that those who sell retirement plans must put the interest of their clients first, meaning they cannot market only those plans that benefit them the most.
“During the phased implementation period ending on Jan. 1, 2018, the department will not pursue claims against fiduciaries who are working diligently and in good faith to comply with the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions, or treat those fiduciaries as being in violation of the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions,” the Field Assistance Bulletin states.
In addition to Acosta’s op-ed in the Journal and the DOL bulletin, the agency released on a new set of frequently asked questions related to the transition period from June 9 to January 1, 2018.
Since the rule does not take full effect until Jan. 1, there is still time for revisions, especially since a public commentary period is ongoing, and the president has asked for a full review and revising as necessary.