Updated DOL Fiduciary Rule

On April 10, 2017, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule, entitled “Definition of the Term ‘Fiduciary’; Conflict of Interest Rule -- Retirement Investment Advice” went into effect. The updated rule raises the fiduciary standard of brokers and retirement planners to the same standard as Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs).

Although the updated ruling went into effect in April 2017, there is a phased implementation to give transition relief until January 1, 2018 in order to comply with various written updated disclosure requirements enacted by the updated ruling. Plan Sponsors need to determine carefully who is impacted by the updated fiduciary rule. For instance, record-keepers may be impacted if they offer investment advice of any kind rather than education. This may affect retirement accounts and even Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) if investment advice is given to plan participants. As a good rule of practice, plan sponsors should always point participants/employees in the direction of their own personal tax/investment council should they be approached for this type of financial guidance.

Additional Information
Temporary Enforcement Policy on Fiduciary Duty Rule