On Friday, March 17, The Department of Labor’s latest comment period on the proposal to delay the fiduciary rule closed with 565 comments from industry and advocacy groups and individual investors both for and against the delay. In a Pensions & Investments article reporting on the close, investment management counsel David Tittsworth (Washington D.C.), outlined that “while the comments represent a spectrum of views, recent actions all point in the direction of extending the April 10 applicability date.” Mr. Tittsworth also said in Law360 that “To do anything other than delay the applicability date would appear to be inconsistent with all of these actions, and could lead to even more confusion.” On the number of letters the DOL will have to review, in InvestmentNews, tax & benefits associate Josh Lichtenstein (New York) remarked that “It's a significant undertaking … there are a lot of individual letters. The final rule should have a preamble about the comments and explain why [DOL] decided to make changes or not make changes due to the comments.”Mr. Lichtenstein also noted that the volume of comments “signifies … that the fiduciary rule, although complicated, struck a chord with the public at large.”
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