Congressman introducing bill delaying DOL fiduciary rule

The bill would delay the fiduciary rule's implementation two years from the time the legislation is enacted

Jan 6, 2017 @ 12:34 pm

By Greg Iacurci

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., introduced a bill Friday that would delay the implementation date of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule by two years from enactment of the legislation.

"This legislation will delay the implementation of this job-destroying rule, giving Congress and President-elect Donald Trump adequate time to re-evaluate this harmful regulation," Mr. Wilson, a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, said of the Protecting American Families' Retirement Advice Act.

Proponents of the fiduciary rule, which raises investment advice standards for retirement accounts, believe it is necessary to protect investors from high-fee investment products that erode their retirement savings. Critics say the rule is overly burdensome and makes it more costly to give and receive advice.

The bill is believed to be the first of the new Congress aimed at halting the fiduciary rule.

The implementation date of the fiduciary rule is set for April 10 this year, which some critics say is too soon to complete necessary preparations.

Diane Boyle, senior vice president of government relations for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, said the bill would delay implementation until 2019.

(More: The most comprehensive fiduciary database)

Andrew Oringer, partner and co-chairman of the employee benefits and executive compensation group at the law firm Dechert, said any delay in the applicability date of the rule would seemingly be a "death knell" of the regulation.

Mr. Oringer said that it's possible that an extension of the applicability date could simply result in tweaking the regulation and ultimately letting it become effective. However, given the harsh criticism Trump officials leveled at it, "a delay in applicability would give [Congress] the breathing room it would need to revoke the rule entirely," he said.

However, if the Trump administration were not to prioritize pushing through this legislation, and the original April 10 implementation date arrives without enactment, it would likely be "much more challenging to get the rule fully revoked," according to Mr. Oringer.

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