Skip to main content

You are here


Game Changers: The DOL and SEC Fiduciary Rules

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary (or “conflict of interest”) rule, issued in final form April 6, 2016, was a package of rules and exemptions aimed at curbing perceived abuses by advisors. Subsequently, On June 21, 2018, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals vacated the rule. It is not being enforced by the DOL.

On June 5, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a package of rules and forms establishing a new fiduciary standard for broker-dealers and investment advisors. The SEC initially proposed that rules packahe in April 2018.

Below you’ll find links to our news coverage and analysis of the DOL and SEC fiduciary rules, as well as agency issuances, regulatory guidance, court decisions, ARA testimony and comment letters, and recommended resources. In addition, browse the Regulatory Compliance or Regulatory Agencies topics for other news coverage and commentary regarding both rules.

SEC Materials

June 5, 2019 Final Rule Package

Final Regulation Best Interest 

Final Form CRS Relationship Summary 

Interpretation Regarding Standard of Conduct for Investment Advisers 

Interpretation Regarding Solely Incidental Prong of B-D Exclusion 

SEC final rule web page 


April 18, 2018 Proposed Rule Package

SEC Open Meeting (2-hour video)

SEC Overview of the Standards of Conduct Package 

Regulation Best Interest (407 pages)

Form CRS Relationship Summary (471 pages)

Proposed Interpretation Regarding Standard of Conduct (38 pages)

SEC Factsheet 

Form CRS Mock-up – Dual Registrant (4 pages)

Form CRS Mock-up – Standalone Broker-Dealer (4 pages)

Form CRS Mock-up – Standalone Investment Adviser (4 pages)

DOL Regulations and Guidance

Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-02: Temporary Enforcement Policy on Prohibited Transaction Rules Applicable to Invest Advice Fiduciaries (2 pages, May 7, 2018)

18-Month Extension of Transition Period and Delay of Applicability Dates (Nov. 29, 2017)

Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-03: Enforcement Policy on Arbitration Limitation in the BICE and Principal Transactions Exemption (2 pages, Aug. 30, 2017)

Extension of Transition Period and Delay of Applicability Dates (19 pages, Aug. 30, 2017)

Conflict of Interest FAQs (408b-2 Disclosure Transition Period, Recommendations to Increase Contributions and Plan Participation) (6 pages, August 2017)

Conflict-of-Interest FAQs (Transition Period) (11 pages, May 2017)

Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2017-02: Temporary Enforcement Policy on Fiduciary Duty Rule (May 22, 2017)

60-Day Delay in Applicability Date (63 pages, April 5, 2017)

Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-01: Temporary Enforcement Policy on Fiduciary Duty Rule (3 pages, March 10, 2017)

Proposed Rule: 60-Day Extension of Applicability Date (31 pages, March 1, 2017)

EBSA’s Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption for Insurance Intermediaries (220 pages, Jan. 19, 2017)

Conflict of Interest FAQs (Part II – Rule) (17 pages, Jan. 13, 2017)

Consumer Protections for Retirement Investors — FAQs on Your Rights and Financial Advisers (16 pages, Jan. 13, 2017)

Conflict of Interest Exemptions FAQs (24 pages, Oct. 27, 2016)

DOL Corrections to Best Interest Contract Exemption (48 pages, July 11, 2016)

DOL Corrections to Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs (32 pages, July 11, 2016)

Final Regulation (208 pages, April 6, 2016)

Best Interest Contract Exemption (317 pages, April 6, 2016)

Class Exemption for Principal Transactions Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs (192 pages, April 6, 2016)

Amendment to PTE 84-24: Transactions Involving Insurance Agents and Brokers, Pension Consultants, Insurance Companies, and Investment Company Principal Underwriters (117 pages, April 6, 2016)

Amendment and Partial Revocation of PTE 86-128: Transactions Involving Broker-Dealers; DOL Amendment and Partial Revocation of PTE 75-1: Transactions Involving Broker-Dealers, Reporting Dealers and Banks (105 pages, April 6, 2016)

Amendment to PTE 75-1: Prohibitions Respecting Certain Transactions Involving Certain Broker-Dealers, Reporting Dealers and Banks (30 pages, April 6, 2016)

Amendments to PTEs 75-1, 77-4, 80-83 and 83-1 (30 pages, April 6, 2016)

News Coverage

SEC Approves Long-awaited Investment Advice Package (June 6, 2019)
ARA Submits Comments to SEC on Proposed Regulation Best Interest (Aug. 3, 2018)
Fiduciary Rule Litigation (Still) Lingers (July 6, 2018)
It’s Official: The Fiduciary Rule is Dead (June 21, 2018)
Inside the SEC’s New Form CRS – Part 5 (June 20, 2018)
Is It Back to the Future for the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule? (June 14, 2018)
Plaintiffs Press for Fiduciary Rule ‘Closure’ (June 7, 2018)
Inside the SEC’s New Form CRS – Part 4 (June 4, 2018)
DOL Puts Fiduciary Rule Enforcement on Hold (May 8, 2018)
5th Circuit Dismisses AARP, State Intervention in Fiduciary Rule Fight (May 3, 2018)
Inside the SEC’s New Form CRS – Part 3 (May 1, 2018)
States Step Forward in Fiduciary Fight (April 26, 2018)
AARP Cites Government Inaction, Member Interests in Fiduciary Litigation Intervention (April 26, 2018)
AARP Enters the Fiduciary Fray (April 26, 2018)
Inside the SEC’s New Form CRS – Part 2 (April 25, 2018)
DOL’s Clock Is Ticking on Whether to Appeal 5th Circuit Decision (April 25, 2018)
Legal Experts See Long Road Ahead for SEC Proposals (April 24, 2018)
Inside the SEC’s New Form CRS – Part 1 (April 23, 2018)
SEC Rolls Out Best Interest, Fiduciary Proposal (April 19, 2018)
SEC Commissioners Think Current Proposals Need Some Work (April 19, 2018)
NAFA, DOL Drop Fiduciary Ruling Appeal (March 27, 2018)
DOL Puts Fiduciary Rule Enforcement on Hold (March 19, 2018)
5th Circuit Short Circuits Fiduciary Rule (March 16, 2018)
Fiduciary Rule Notches Another Win in Court (March 14, 2018)
Bay State Regulator Files Fiduciary Rule-Related Complaint (Feb. 16, 2018)
Has the Fiduciary Rule Fueled Advisor Hires? (Feb. 13, 2018)
WSJ Analysis Finds Forged Comments on Fiduciary Regulation (Dec. 28, 2017)
Finalized: 18-Month Extension of Fiduciary Rule’s Transition Period (Nov. 27, 2017)
Thrivent Prevails in Fiduciary Rule Challenge – While the DOL Gets its Stay (Nov. 7, 2017)
DOL Files Applicability Extension Proposal with OMB (Nov. 2, 2017)
The Trump-Era Fiduciary Rule (Oct. 25, 2017)
Consumer Group Says Shift to Fee-Based Accounts Could Violate Fiduciary Rule (Oct. 6, 2017)
Rep. Wagner Again Introduces Bill to Repeal DOL Fiduciary Rule (Sept. 28, 2017)
Clayton Says SEC ‘Pushing’ on Fiduciary Regulation (Sept. 27, 2017)
Negligible Effect on Revenues from Bill to Repeal Fiduciary Rule, Estimates Say (Sept. 21, 2107)
Spending Bill Seeks to Stop Fiduciary Rule (Sept. 14, 2017)
DOL Says It Won’t Enforce Fiduciary Rule’s Arbitration Ban (Aug. 31, 2017)
DOL (Officially) Proposes (Another) Delay in Fiduciary Regulation (Aug. 30, 2017)
New DOL Fiduciary Guidance Mirrors ARA/NAPA GAC’s 408(b)(2) Recommendation (Aug. 4, 2017)
ARA Crafts New Levelized Fee Exemption in RFI Response (July 18, 2017)
Comment Period on DOL Fiduciary Rule RFI Opens July 6 (July 5, 2017)
DOL Issues RFI on Fiduciary Rule (June 30, 2017)
House Approves Legislation to Repeal Dodd-Frank, DOL Fiduciary Rule (June 9, 2017)
The SEC (Re)Enters the Fiduciary Fray (June 2, 2017)
DOL Answers Transition Period Questions in New FAQs (May 24, 2017)
Acosta Won’t Delay the Fiduciary Regulation (May 23, 2017)
Acosta Looking to Freeze DOL Fiduciary Regulation (May 10, 2017)
House Republicans Press for Documents on Fiduciary Rule Delay (May 10, 2016)
House Panel Approves Bill That Would Repeal Fiduciary Rule (May 5, 2017)
ARA Calls Out Litigation ‘Sheriff’ in Fiduciary Regulation (April 17, 2017)
A BIC Litigation Alternative (April 17, 2017)
Better Be BIC-Ready (April 6, 2017)
DOL Gives Industry Some ‘Waiting’ Room (April 5, 2017)
DOL Proposes 60-Day Extension in Fiduciary Rule Applicability (March 1, 2017)
Appeal Filed in Fiduciary Litigation (Feb. 27, 2017)
Another Win for the DOL (Feb. 21, 2017)
DOL Files for Delay in Fiduciary Rule Applicability Date (Feb. 10, 2017)
DOL 3, Fiduciary Rule Opponents 0 (Feb. 9, 2017)
Trump Tackles Fiduciary Reg Just Short of its ‘Go’ Line (Updated Feb. 6, 2017)
Did President Trump’s Executive Order Push Back the Fiduciary Rule? (Jan. 23, 2017)
DOL Wins First Round of Fiduciary Regulation Litigation (Nov. 7, 2016)
DOL Fiduciary Rule to Trigger Big Asset, Revenue Shifts (Sept. 26, 2016)
ACLI, NAIFA Make First Amendment Case Against DOL Rule (July 26, 2016)
NAFA: DOL Relying on ‘Fog of Rulemaking’ to Prevail  (July 26, 2016)
Plaintiffs Challenge DOL’s ‘Regulatory Alchemy’ (July 25, 2016)
DOL Fires Back at Litigation Claims (July 13, 2016)
DOL Makes Some BIC Fixes (July 11, 2016)
Two More Suits Challenge Fiduciary Regulation (June 10, 2016)
ACLI, NAIFA File Suit Against Fiduciary Rule (June 9, 2016)
Second Lawsuit Filed Against Fiduciary Rule (June 3, 2016)
It’s On! Litigation Filed Challenging DOL Fiduciary Regulation (June 2, 2016)
Graff: Meet the New Reality (April 18, 2016)
Campbell: 3 Ways Forward Under BIC Exemption (April 18, 2016)
DOL Rule’s Impact: Industry Execs See Opportunity in Disruption (April 20, 2016)
Final Fiduciary Reg Relents on Key Education Provision (April 7, 2016)
Level Best: Fiduciary Regulation Incorporates NAPA’s Level-to-Level Comp Recommendation (April 6, 2016)
It’s Official: DOL Unveils Final Fiduciary Rule (April 6, 2016)
Best Interest Contract Exemption Gets ‘Better’ (April 6, 2016)



FINRA Regulatory Notice 18-13, Quantitative Suitability (April 20, 2018)

Affordable Retirement Advice for Savers Act (H.R. 2823) Committee Report (98 pages, Oct. 25, 2017)

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: A study on how financial institutions have responded and the resulting impacts on retirement investors (Deloitte, Aug. 9, 2017)

Presidential Memorandum on Fiduciary Rule (Feb. 3, 2017)

White House memo to agencies: Regulatory Freeze Pending Review (3 pages, Jan. 20, 2017)

Expert Opinions on the DOL Fiduciary Regulation Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 4 (August 2016)
In this four-part series, four of the nation’s leading ERISA legal experts – former Assistant Secretary of Labor Brad Campbell (now with Drinker Biddle & Reath), Groom Law’s David Levine, Marcia Wagner of the Wagner Law Group, and Fred Reish of Drinker Biddle & Reath – weigh in on the DOL’s fiduciary regulation and its impact(s).

“Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule”
An ongoing series of insightful blog posts from ERISA attorney Fred Reish.

“Game Changer, Revisited” (Pete Swisher, Pentegra; April 2016)

White House Factsheet (April 6, 2016)


5th Circuit’s Mandate Vacating Chamber of Commerce v. DOL (June 21, 2018)

5th Circuit’s Denial of Motions to Intervene in Chamber of Commerce v. DOL by AARP and California, New York and Oregon (May 2, 2018)

Motion to Intervene in Chamber of Commerce v. DOL by California, New York and Oregon (April 26, 2018)

Petition for En Banc Rehearing of Chamber of Commerce v. DOL by California, New York and Oregon (April 26, 2018)

AARP Motion to Intervene in Chamber of Commerce v. DOL (April 26, 2018)

Chamber of Commerce v. DOL (March 15, 2018)

Mkt. Synergy Grp., Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t. of Labor (March 13, 2018)

Thrivent Fin. for Lutherans v. Acosta (Nov. 3, 2017)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce v. Hugler (Feb. 8, 2017)

Opinion in NAFA v. Perez (Nov. 4, 2016)

DOL Motion in NAFA Case (July 8, 2016)

DOL Motion to Consolidate Cases (June 17, 2016)

Market Synergy Group, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Labor (June 8, 2016)

Indexed Annuity Leadership Council, et al. v. Perez (June 8, 2016)

ACLI, NAIFA, et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor (June 8, 2016)

The National Association for Fixed Annuities v. Perez (June 2, 2016)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce, et al. v. Perez (June 1, 2016)

Testimony and Comment Letters

ARA Response to RFI Regarding the Fiduciary Rule and PTEs (12 pages, July 18, 2017)

Morningstar Comments on Fiduciary Rule Examination (6 pages, April 13, 2017)

American Retirement Association Comment Letter on Best Interest Contract Exemption (9 pages, April 17, 2017)

American Retirement Association Comment Letter on Proposed Extension of Applicability Date (4 pages, March 15, 2017)

American Retirement Association Testimony (5 pages, Aug. 12, 2015)

American Retirement Association Comment Letter (29 pages, July 20, 2015)