On August 9, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) filed a Notice of Administration seeking to extend the transition period and delay the effective date of certain provisions of its Fiduciary Rule (Conflict of Interest Rule). The requested extension for 18 months, from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019, was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget, at that time, which needed to review and approve it before it could be enacted.
The DOL has recently announced that the extension of the Transition Period has been approved. Therefore, the applicability of certain provisions with regard to Best Interest Contract Exemptions, Principal Transactions Exemption, and certain amendments to the Prohibited Transaction Exemption has been extended to July 1, 2019. During the Transition Period, the DOL will review public comments submitted since the July Request for Information.
However, during the Transition Period, fiduciary advisers must follow “impartial conduct standards” which includes making investment recommendations in the best interest of the client, charging no more than reasonable compensation for services, and avoiding use of misleading statements.
In addition, President Trump asked the DOL to prepare an updated analysis of the impact of the Fiduciary Rule on access to retirement information and financial advice. The DOL plans to complete this review by July 1, 2019, and determine whether additional changes would be required.