Tax & Benefits Attorney Quoted on DoL Fiduciary Rule Concerns and Developments in Business Insider, Compliance Reporter and RIA.Biz

In The News
February 1, 2017

Recent articles published by Business Insider and report on concerns that President Trump will repeal the Department of Labor’s impending fiduciary rule, and forces that are presenting challenges to it. “It’s already effective,” stated tax & benefits attorney Josh Lichtenstein (New York) in RIA.Biz. “It came into effect last summer. We’re just waiting on a compliance date, which is rapidly approaching.”  Mr. Lichtenstein also highlights that there are other actions the new administration can take short of repeal, such as “ease of use changes … Loosening some onerous requirements [and] … Making the rule easier to live with.”

A subsequent article by Compliance Reporter published on Jan. 24 discusses the latest DoL guidance issued on Jan. 13 in a Q&A. The clarifications contain several very practical changes, Mr. Lichtenstein stated. Notable is that the DoL “resolved the longstanding question about when a product manufacturer is speaking to both an intermediary, either a broker/dealer or wire house, that represents a retirement investor who was also in a room if that would qualify as fiduciary advice or be exempt on the basis that the sophisticated independent fiduciary was present.” Despite this, however, Mr. Lichtenstein continues, “there are things hanging over people thinking about the rule. The tension is that while people think the law could be delayed or even go away wholesale, the compliance date is very close.” The applicability date of the fiduciary rule is, at present, April 10, 2017, with a further transition period for many requirements of the BIC exemption currently scheduled for January 1, 2018.