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REGULATION/LEGISLATION

EBSA issues fiduciary rule delay

A 60-day delay of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule was issued late Tuesday by the Employee Benefits Security Administration. The rule will be published in the Federal Register by Friday.

On March 1, DOL officials proposed extending the effective date to June 9. The Department of Labor is also taking public comments on President Donald Trump's Feb. 3 memorandum directing it to examine the fiduciary rule to determine whether it might adversely affect the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information and financial advice. The 60-day delay will give the department time to collect and consider information related to the issues raised in the presidential memorandum, the DOL said.

In the unpublished notice, DOL officials said they received 193,000 comments on the proposed delay, with 15,000 in support of it and 178,000 opposed.

The fiduciary rule is complex, said benefits lawyer Patrick DiCarlo with Alston & Bird law firm. “The delay in enforcement is helpful as the new administration reviews the new rule, but there is now even more uncertainty about how advisers and plans should be preparing,” he said.