DOL Review of Fiduciary Regulation Takes First Step

The Labor Department has taken its first step in the review of the fiduciary regulation ordered by President Trump earlier this year.

That step was marked by the delivery of a request for information (RFI) on the fiduciary rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget, according to the agency website.

Politico Pro notes that at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday, Secretary of Labor Acosta described the request for information as “the first step in the administration’s review of [the] rule.”

Last month in a Wall Street Journal op-ed announcing that he did not intend to delay the fiduciary regulation’s applicability date, Acosta had said that “the Labor Department has concluded that it is necessary to seek additional public input on the entire Fiduciary Rule, and we will do so.” The RFI would appear to be the first step in fulfilling that promise.

In his comments before the committee, Acosta said the RFI was focused on “asking consumers a number of questions about the rule, about how the rule is being implemented, about the impact the rule has,” adding that “this is the first step” in the administration’s review. “We need that information and we need that data in order to decide how to proceed,” he said.

In April the Labor Department also extended by 60 days the applicability dates of the Best Interest Contract Exemption and the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs to June 9, but also said that fiduciaries relying on these exemptions adhere only to the Impartial Conduct Standards (including the “best interest” standard, charging reasonable compensation and not making any materially misleading statements) from June 9, 2017, through Jan. 1, 2018.

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