OMB concludes review of measure delaying DOL fiduciary rule

Agency designates delay as 'economically significant,' after meetings with DOL-fiduciary proponents

Feb 28, 2017 @ 10:00 am

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

The Office of Management and Budget concluded its review of a rule that would delay the implementation of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule.

In a posting on its website on Tuesday morning, the OMB also noted that it has changed the designation of the delay to "economically significant," a more rigorous category than the previous not econonomically significant label that it carried when the delay was submitted to OMB by the DOL.

The change in the economic-impact of the delay's status occurred after several proponents of the DOL fiduciary met with OMB officials over the last two weeks.

The higher designation could mean that the delay rule would require a longer comment period.

The DOL has not yet determined when it will release the delay rule. It is expected to carry at least a two-week comment period.

The DOL fiduciary rule, which would require all financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients, has an initial implementation date of April 10. The DOL is seeking a delay, which could be for 180 days, after President Donald Trump instructed the agency to reassess the rule and modify or replace it if it is determined to cause harm to investors or firms.

The finanical industry argues that the rule is too complex and costly and will price investors with modest assets out of the advice market. Backers of the rule say that it is required to protect workers and retirees from conflicted advice that results in the purchase of inappropriate high-fee investments that erode savings.

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