Labor Department delays full Fiduciary Rule for additional 18 months

By Mark Huffman

The Labor Department has served notice that it intends to delay full implementation of the Fiduciary Rule until July 2019.

The government revealed the delay in a brief filed in a court in Minnesota, where it is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Thrivent Financial. Previously, the Trump Administration had said it would delay key provisions of the Obama Administration rule until January 2018.

The Fiduciary Rule requires financial advisors to always place the client’s interests ahead of their own. While that might sound fairly straightforward, the financial services industry has resisted that.

One argument is that advisors who make no commissions from the investments their clients make would have to charge so much for their advice that only wealthy investors could afford their services. However, some experts say that delaying the rule further will only make it easier for firms to stall their implentation efforts.

“We have consistently opposed any additional delay, which will only serve to increase uncertainty over the rule’s ultimate fate,” Barbara Roper, director of investor protection at Consumer Federation of America, told ConsumerAffairs.

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