The Department of Labor (DOL) extended until July 1, 2019, the date for compliance with the full conditions in its new “investment
advice” fiduciary definition and related exemptions (Final Rule), which became generally applicable on June 9. After considering the commentary it received, DOL has extended the Transition Period as proposed, without change. Thus, the same transition rules and standards in effect on June 9 will remain in effect until July 1, 2019. Of particular note, the DOL explained that:
• It needs more time to “carefully and thoughtfully review” the commentary it has received and to honor the President’s directive, as well as to coordinate with the SEC, FINRA, NAIC and other regulators.
• It anticipates proposing a new streamlined class exemption in the near future, which presumably would address innovative products being developed in response to the Final Rule.
• It “sees no compelling reason” to further extend the “grandfathering exemption” (although it did solicit supplemental comments on this point going forward). The applicability date for determining whether a transaction may be grandfathered remains June 9, 2017.
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