Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta
confirmed Monday night that the agency's fiduciary rule will become applicable
on June 9. Acosta found no legal basis to delay the implementation any further.
"We have carefully
considered the record in this case, and the requirements of the Administrative
Procedure Act, and have found no principled legal basis to change the June 9
date while we seek public input," Mr Acosta wrote in a Wall Street
Journal oped that was posted Monday night. "Respect for the rule of
law leads us to the conclusion that this date cannot be postponed.
His decision is a victory for
supporters of the rule, which requires financial advisers to act in the best
interests of their clients in retirement accounts. The rule's implementation
has been delayed for 60 days — from April 10 until June 9 — while the DOL
reassesses the regulation under a directive from President Donald J. Trump that
could lead to its modification or repeal.
The DOL said that two provisions
— one expanding the definition of who is a fiduciary and another establishing
impartial conduct standards — would become applicable when the delay ends on
The agency said that it would
continue its review until Jan. 1, the final implementation date for the rule.
Industry opponents pushed Mr.
Acosta to extend the delay, arguing that the whole rule should be put on hold
while the agency carries out Mr. Trump's order. Supporters threatened to sue
the agency if it pushed back the rule beyond June 9 in violation of rule making
parameters set out in the APA.
In guidance Monday night, the
agency said that it would not enforce the rule during the delay.
"During the phased
implementation period ending on January 1, 2018, the Department will not pursue
claims against fiduciaries who are working diligently and in good faith to
comply with the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions, or treat those fiduciaries
as being in violation of the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions," the Field
Assistance Bulletin states.
In addition to Mr. Acosta's oped
and bulletin, the agency released on a new set of frequently asked
questions related to the transition period from June 9 to January 1, 2018.
here for the original article from Investment News.