December 17, 2015
The Department of Labor (DOL) will be able to continue to develop its rule defining “fiduciary” for plan investment purposes (also known as the “conflict-of-interest” rule) under the Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) without legislative restriction. The omnibus budget bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016), needed to avoid a government shutdown and expected to pass in both houses of Congress and be signed by President Obama, does not include earlier proposed restrictions intended to delay the DOL’s actions. At this point, it appears that the DOL is likely to issue a final rule in the first part of 2016. The rule would affect when a person providing investment advice is acting as an ERISA fiduciary. The most controversial portion of the rule affects advice given with respect to individual retirement accounts and arrangements (IRAs).
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