According to Investment News last Friday (June 9), “Two provisions of the measure, which requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients in retirement accounts, become applicable today. One expands the definition of who is a fiduciary, and the other establishes impartial conduct standards. … How much of the rest of the rule will survive is an open question.”
Figure 1 shows the original timeline for implementation of the DOL guidelines:
FIGURE 1: DOL FIDUCIARY STANDARDS ORIGINAL TIMETABLE FOR IMPLEMENTATION
The original implementation date of April 10, 2017, was delayed for two months due to the Trump administration’s decision to fully reassess the DOL’s guidelines and the implementation schedule. The DOL, according to several industry sources, has indicated that the Jan. 1, 2018, full implementation deadline may be pushed back further.
The Wall Street Journal noted over the weekend,
Investment News said last week that there is now another factor acting as a wild card in the process:
Numerous surveys have been conducted among financial advisors, RIAs, and broker-dealers to assess their reactions to the DOL guidelines moving forward. Two of the greatest areas of concern are (1) what investment products will be most affected by the guidelines?, and (2) what preparations have been made by firms as the June 9 deadline approached? The following two figures address those areas.
FIGURE 2: WHAT PRODUCTS WILL BE AFFECTED BY THE DOL FIDUCIARY RULE?
On May 25, 2017, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta published comments on the fiduciary rule and other matters as they pertain to the deregulation efforts of the Trump administration. He wrote, in part,