Parts of DOL fiduciary rule delayed until 2019

On Nov. 29, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register a final regulation providing an 18-month extension to the transition relief period of the fiduciary rule. The transition relief period, originally slated to end Jan. 1, 2018, will now end July 1, 2019.

So, now what?

This delay doesn’t impact the parts of the fiduciary rule that were applicable June 9, 2017.

Although the delay extends the deadline for providing certain disclosures and operational changes supporting the new regulation, advisors and service providers are still held to an ERISA fiduciary standard when providing investment advice, such as benefit event recommendations, to retirement plan sponsors, participants and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) holders.

If you’re a plan fiduciary, you have fiduciary responsibility for the selection and monitoring of your plan’s various service providers. And, you can be liable for the acts of other fiduciaries under certain circumstances. It’s important to understand who may be providing fiduciary investment advice to the plan and the plan’s participants.

Helping plan fiduciaries navigate change

Based on this additional time, it’s possible the DOL may make changes to the rule. We’ll continue to work with our own ERISA experts, government relations staff and legal department (as well as trades and outside counsel) on what’s happening in Washington, D.C. And, we’ll keep plan fiduciaries informed as key developments become known.

What won’t change?

While the full applicability date changed, fiduciary responsibilities should continue to be top of mind for you. We’ve always been here to help plan fiduciaries with tools and resources to navigate their fiduciary duties and responsibilities—and this commitment won’t change.

Need more information?

If you sponsor a plan with services provided by Principal®, log in to the employer website and read the Compliance News update, which can be found in the News section under the Administrative tab. You can also reach out to your Principal representative or advisor.

The subject matter in this communication is educational only and provided with the understanding that Principal® is not rendering legal, accounting, investment advice or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, investment or accounting obligations and requirements.

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