DOL Estimates 3 Weeks for OMB Review of Applicability Date Proposal

If past is precedent, then the Labor Department could expect to hear from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on its review of its proposed delay in applicability date for parts of the fiduciary regulation in about three weeks.

On Nov. 1 the Labor Department submitted to the OMB a proposed notice of final amendments to three prohibited transaction exemptions, entitled “18-Month Extension of Transition Period and Delay of Applicability Dates; Best Interest Contract Exemption; Class Exemption for Principal Transactions; PTE 84-24.”

“Typically administrative actions such as these take three weeks from the time of review by [the Office of Management and Budget] to be published as final,” according to a filing by the Labor Department in litigation brought by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans against the fiduciary rule.

In an Oct. 13 filing, the DOL repeated its request that the court grant its July motion to stay proceedings “because it would conserve judicial resources to await completion of the Department’s pending administrative actions, which are likely to address the challenged provision before it becomes applicable to [Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.]

“The Court need not rule on this motion, but instead should grant the Department’s motion to stay the case. If the Court does not stay the case, there is no need for preliminary relief here, where summary judgment has been fully briefed and Plaintiff is concerned about an event that will occur in January 2018 at the earliest, if at all,” they wrote.

The present transition period is, of course, from June 9, 2017, to Jan. 1, 2018. The new transition period would end on July 1, 2019. The proposal includes a 15-day comment period.

The rule, which must be approved by OMB, pushes the applicability date of the fiduciary rule’s Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) from Jan. 1, 2018, until July 1, 2019.

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