DOL’s Fiduciary Rule: Good News, Bad News

As National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has pointed out numerous times in recent weeks, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Rule was set to become effective on April 10, 2017. As initially proposed, the Fiduciary Rule was unworkable and far too costly for investors and retirees. It would have likely led to a significant reduction in individually-tailored investment advice, especially for those with lower account balances.

After President Trump’s Memorandum directing DOL to re-review the legal and economic analysis underpinning the Rule, DOL issued a proposed rule to delay it by 60 days (its effective date) in order to perform the mandated analysis and give the investment advisory industry breathing room. This was a welcome development.

DOL made the delay official on Friday, April 7, but unfortunately did not delay the effective date of the entire Rule. This is a partial victory for taxpayers and free market advocates, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Likewise, it serves as a reminder that DOL is currently operating with an acting Secretary and the Senate should quickly work to confirm President Trump’s nominee to lead DOL, Alexander Acosta.