Outside Publication

Co-author, The Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest Project: The Public Debate and Its Implications for the Final Rule, Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal

November 05, 2015

Half a year after proposing a significantly expanded definition of ‘‘investment advice’’ giving rise to fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Department of Labor (DOL or Department) has its hands full as it moves to finalize the proposed regulation. 

Since the DOL published the proposed regulation in April of this year, the DOL has received more than 3,000 comment letters over two separate comment periods, the last of which closed in late September, and heard testimony from more than 70 witnesses over four days of public hearings.

With the public record closed, the Department turns to finalizing what is arguably the most significant regulatory action within the retirement industry in the past 40 years. This article describes themes that emerged from the comment letters and testimony from the regulated community regarding the proposed expansion of the fiduciary-duty rules. The article also anticipates changes the Department may make before issuing a final rule in the coming months.