Report: White House to Nominate EBSA Assistant Secretary

A published report says the Trump administration is prepared to nominate a new Assistant Secretary for the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).

Politico Pro says that the much-anticipated nod will go to Preston Rutledge, currently Senior Tax and Benefits Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee under Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – a position he has held since 2011. Prior to joining the Finance Committee, Rutledge served as a tax law specialist for the headquarter staff of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the IRS. He also worked in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and in private law practice as an employee benefits counselor and litigator.

Rutledge would replace former Assistant Secretary Phyllis Borzi, who served for eight years in the Obama administration. As EBSA assistant secretary, one of the top items on Rutledge’s agenda would be overseeing the implementation of, and any potential changes to, the fiduciary rule.

The DOL is currently conducting a review of the final rule and on August 30 proposed to extend the transition period for three prohibited transaction exemptions (BICE, the 84-24 exemption and the principal transactions exemption) until July 1, 2019.

EBSA overall is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the private employee benefit plan system in the United States. The agency oversees the administration, regulation and enforcement of Title I of ERISA. Its oversight authority extends to nearly 700,000 private-sector retirement plans, and nearly 2.5 million health plans and other welfare benefit plans that provide benefits to approximately 150 million Americans.

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