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DOL Proposes New Exemption for Investment Advisers

This week, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new exemption for investment advice fiduciaries that allows financial advisers to collect commissions and other compensation when offering retirement advice.
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Earlier this week, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it was proposing a new exemption for investment advice fiduciaries. The proposed exemption will be published in the Federal Register for notice and comment in the near future. 

The DOL proposal would align with standards of other regulators, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s “best interest” standard, which was finalized last June and went into effect on Tuesday. 

The proposal would apply to investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks, and insurance companies and their employees, agents, and representatives who provide fiduciary “investment advice.” This new exemption would allow financial advisers to collect commissions and other compensation when offering retirement advice.

The proposed rule would replace the Obama-era "fiduciary rule," which was vacated in 2018 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Big “I” had consistently advocated against the adoption of the Obama administration’s “fiduciary rule.”

In the announcement on Monday, the U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia noted “Today’s proposed exemption would give Americans more choices for investment advice arrangements, while protecting the retirement savings of American workers. The exemption would add to the tools individuals need to make the right decisions for their financial future.”

Wyatt Stewart is Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs.