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Temporary enforcement policy issued for DOL fiduciary rule

The Department of Labor on Friday issued a temporary enforcement policy for the fiduciary rule, originally scheduled to take effect April 10, to address concerns about a possible delay.

A field assistance bulletin from John Canary, director of regulations and interpretations for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, said that while DOL officials are deciding whether to delay the April implementation date by 60 days, “financial services institutions have expressed concern about investor confusion and other marketplace disruption.” Given those concerns, Mr. Canary said, “the department has determined that temporary enforcement relief is appropriate.”

The temporary policy states that if the Labor Department implements a delay after April 10, it will not initiate enforcement actions for non-compliance during the gap period before a delay is implemented.

If the DOL decides not to issue a delay, it will not initiate enforcement actions during that gap period either, the bulletin said.

“It should not be read as expressing any view on any decision regarding a final rule on the March 2 proposal,” to delay implementation, he said.