The Department of Labor has announced that the applicability date of the Fiduciary Rule’s Best Interest Contract Exemption, the Principal Transactions Exemption and specific amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 (PTE)s have been delayed from January 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019. This 18-month extension of the Transition Period will allow the Department to further evaluate public comments submitted following their July Request for Information and the Presidential Memorandum of February 3, 2017. During this time, fiduciary advisers are expected to adhere to the following requirements of the “impartial conduct standards”:
- Fiduciary advisers must provide investment recommendations that meet the best interest standard;
- Fiduciary advisers must charge reasonable compensation for their services; and
- Fiduciary advisers must avoid making misleading statements.
The Department of Labor has confirmed that it will not pursue claims against fiduciaries who work in good faith to comply with the Fiduciary Rule and PTEs during the Transition Period. Furthermore, fiduciaries will not be treated as being in violation of the Fiduciary Rule and PTEs during this time.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
The Department hopes that the delay will reduce the chances of causing unnecessary confusion among consumers and undue compliance expenses for fiduciary advisers resulting from requirements that might later be rescinded or revised. As always, Fairview will continue to provide updates as additional information is made available.