- Finalizing a proposal revealed in August, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released a final rule that delays the implementation of the fiduciary rule until July 2019. The agency is set to publish the rule in the Federal Register on Nov. 29.
- One expert told Investment News that this move is "an effective repeal of the rule," giving the department time to find a way to kill the regulation. In June 2016, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said the agency could not find legal basis to stop two parts of the rule from going into effect in June 2017.
- In August, the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) fast-tracked its approval of an 18-month delay, allowing DOL to quickly produce and publish its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
Mark this as yet another Obama-era regulation that employers likely won't need to worry about for a while, if ever. The rule, which dictates that brokers would have to promise to put clients' interests first when assisting with investment matters, still technically lives — but it faces the DOL and a business community determined to see its demise.
Congress has also been trying to repeal Dodd-Frank with a bill that also would void the fiduciary rule, but that effort has been put on the back burner thanks to healthcare and tax reform.
While two parts of the rule are already in effect, they're largely considered the least objectionable areas: the definition of "fiduciary" and the rules of conduct for fiduciaries.