WASHINGTON (4/7/16)--The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) early examination of the final fiduciary rule released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) indicates that some credit union concerns raised by the association were addressed in the final rule. However, CUNA continues its analysis of the complex rule, and will release more information going forward.
The DOL’s rule expands the definition of a “fiduciary” as a person who receives compensation for providing advice based on the particular needs of the person being advised or if he or she directs that person to a specific plan sponsor, plan participant, or individual retirement account (IRA) owner.
Within the final rule, the DOL included examples of communication that would not rise to the level of a recommendation and thus would not be considered advice. CUNA asked the agency to provide a number of clarifications, including what is “advice” and what is “education.”
The final rule also provides clarification that education is not included in the definition of retirement investment advice so advisers and plan sponsors can continue to provide general education on retirement saving without triggering fiduciary duties. However, CUNA continues to analyze the rule for any potential impacts on communications with members particularly about IRAs.
CUNA is pleased to see some of the clarifications were addressed, but remains vigilant about whether some of the compliance burdens associated with this rule will impact credit unions.
As CUNA continues its review of the DOL’s rule to determine the impact on credit unions and credit union service organizations, it remains keenly aware of the unprecedented number of regulatory burdens the industry is currently facing.
CUNA has sent two separate comment letters to the DOL spelling out its concerns with the proposal, the first during the initial comment period, the second after the comment period was re-opened following a four-day public hearing in which speakers raised many of the concerns CUNA has.
CUNA also reached out to the National Credit Union Administration, asking it to weigh in on the potential burdens of the rule, and asked Congress to closely examine the rule, which it did through a House Ways and Means Committee hearing.