The Department of Labor (DOL) will not enforce claims against fiduciaries working diligently and in good faith during phased implementation of the fiduciary rule, according to guidance released Monday. This phased implementation will start on the June 9 effective date and end Jan. 1, 2018.
CUNA urged DOL to provide more time for compliance with the rule in a March letter highlighting the complexity of this rule and the uncertainty about compliance deadlines and applicability.
The guidance also highlights that DOL has repeatedly said that its general approach to implementation will be marked by an emphasis on assisting (rather than citing violations and imposing penalties on) plans, plan fiduciaries, financial institutions and others who are working diligently and in good faith to understand and come into compliance with the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions.
Consistent with that approach, DOL has determined that temporary enforcement relief is appropriate and in the interest of plans, plan fiduciaries, plan participants and beneficiaries, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and IRA owners.
DOL Secretary Alexander Acosta published an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal Monday stating that there is no legal precedent to change the June 9 applicability date for the fiduciary rule.
“We have carefully considered the record in this case, and the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, and have found no principled legal basis to change the June 9 date while we seek public input,” he wrote. Additional analysis of the op-ed, and DOL’s latest guidance, can be found on CUNA’s Removing Barriers Blog.