Several recent updates regarding the new Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule have caused confusion for our clients. On March 1, 2017, the DOL announced a proposed delay of the new fiduciary rule and prohibited transaction exemptions that were set to become applicable on April 10, 2017. The DOL requested that all comments on the proposed delay be submitted by March 17, 2017. Once the DOL reviews the comments, it will publish a final rule, which could either retain the April 10 applicability date or delay the applicability date 60 days or more.

In addition, the DOL will conduct economic and legal analysis that could change the requirements of the rule.

It is not certain when the DOL will publish its final rule. On March 10, 2017, the DOL issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-01, which provides that the DOL will not enforce the rule as of April 10 if a rule is issued after that date and delays the applicability date. If there is no delay in the applicability date, the DOL will not enforce the rule if affected parties comply with the requirements within a “reasonable period.” Importantly, however, the guidance does not shield advisors or financial institutions from private lawsuits.

We outline a brief summary of the rule and provide client recommendations in a white paper on the topic.

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Photo of Mark Welker Mark Welker

Mark helps entrepreneurs realize the fruits of their labor while moving their businesses forward. When owners of privately held businesses decide it’s time to develop and pursue a plan to transition their involvement with the company, Mark helps develop a business succession plan.

Mark helps entrepreneurs realize the fruits of their labor while moving their businesses forward. When owners of privately held businesses decide it’s time to develop and pursue a plan to transition their involvement with the company, Mark helps develop a business succession plan. He strategizes with clients to identify succession goals, decide how best to achieve those goals and execute the transaction.

Photo of David Eckhardt David Eckhardt

David focuses his practice on employee benefits, executive compensation and taxation. David has extensive experience in executive compensation issues, including compliance of deferred compensation agreements under Internal Revenue Code section 409A and the structuring and tax treatment of equity arrangements. He also implements…

David focuses his practice on employee benefits, executive compensation and taxation. David has extensive experience in executive compensation issues, including compliance of deferred compensation agreements under Internal Revenue Code section 409A and the structuring and tax treatment of equity arrangements. He also implements equity compensation plans in partnerships and limited liability companies.