The rule - also known as the conflict-of-interest rule - will require brokers and advisors to recommend investments that are in the best interests of clients, not merely suitable for them, when they give retirement account advice. President Donald Trump in February told the Labor Department to delay implementing the rule, due to be phased in starting June 9.
The Department of Labor, in a recently released set of frequently asked questions related to its fiduciary rule, gave an endorsement of sorts to clean shares, saying the new mutual-fund share class represents one of the "most promising responses" to have emerged since the retirement regulation was issued a year ago.
In an essay for the Wall Street Journal that was published Monday night, Acosta said the department "found no principled legal basis" for delaying the rule any further.
The financial industry, on the other hand, has argued that the rule would limit retirees' investment choices by forcing advisers to steer them to low-risk options.
There's also the seller's exception, which states that sales recommendations made by a broker to a retirement plan with at least $50 million in assets will not be considered investment advice and thus subject to the fiduciary rule as long as it is clear from the beginning of the transaction that the person selling the investments does not consider themselves to be a giver of impartial investment advice.
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In March, the Labor Department proposed a 60-day extension for the rule to go into effect on June 9.
"If Secretary Acosta truly respects the will of the people, he will stand up to the industry lobbyists who want a fiduciary standard in name only", continues Roper, "and he will proceed with implementation of a rule that puts real teeth into the best interest standard by making it legally enforceable and by reining in practices that encourage and reward advice that is not in customers' best interests". "ADISA will work with our members to ensure that all involved understand their responsibilities under the revised rule and accompanying exemptions, and will continue to work with the Department, Congress and the SEC to ensure that all applicable rules and regulations create a level playing field for financial professionals and serve the best interests of retirement savers".
Earlier this year, the Department issued a field assistance bulletin that described the Department's temporary enforcement policy related to the fiduciary rule, whereby the Department will not pursue claims against fiduciaries who are working diligently and in good faith to comply with the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions, or treat those fiduciaries as being in violation of the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions. Trump has also ordered a review of the rule, which set in motion a potential repeal.
"This decision will make it harder for many Americans to save for a dignified retirement".
The Financial Services Institute, a lobbying group that has vehemently opposed the rule, said it was "disappointed in this latest development". "That is a fantasy", she said.