Regulatory Alert | January 2016

Regulatory Alert | January 2016

Examining the U.S. Department of Labor proposal to redefine a fiduciary for retirement investment advice

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rules to redefine a “fiduciary” of an employee benefit plan under ERISA and address conflicts of interest in retirement investment advice have been the subject of intense debate since publication in April 2015. At present, multiple legislative proposals are being considered that could possibly defer, modify, or derail the DOL’s release of final rules, and statutorily mandated, though potentially competing, regulations are being drafted by the Securities and Exchange Commission. No matter the outcome, the industry must take notice that heightened attention is being directed toward retail investment products and services generally, and retirement accounts in particular, and that the regulatory focus is keenly directed toward customer treatment and customer outcomes, as well as on a firm’s efforts to place the best interest of customers at the heart of its business strategies.

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