- The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed to delay parts of the Obama-era fiduciary rule and given stakeholders 15 days to comment.
- The White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) fast-tracked its approval of an 18-month delay earlier this week, according to ThinkAdvisor. DOL acted quickly and got its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking out August 31.
- The agency first revealed via a brief filed in a Minnesota lawsuit that it intended to delay the remaining parts of the fiduciary rule by 18 months, until July 1, 2019. "It's a very clear attempt at death by delay," one expert told Investment News.
The 18-month delay could be the end of the remaining fiduciary rule provisions, given that DOL has eased up on enforcing the other portions and the financial industry would be glad to see them scrapped. (The least objectionable parts of the rule for its opponents are already in place: the definition of "fiduciary" and the rules of conduct for fiduciaries.)
OMB's approval of the delay was the green light opponents of the rule were waiting for. DOL made its proposal official just days after OMB's stamp of approval and has given stakeholders an unusually short window to comment. Some experts say DOL's mind is made up, and it will likely move forward with the delay, regardless of the comments received.