As expected, the DOL has delayed the effectiveness of the new Fiduciary rule and the corresponding Prohibited Transaction exemption guidance. The DOL published official notice of a 60-day delay within yesterday’s Federal Register. As a result, the applicability date is delayed from April 10, 2017, until (at least) June 9, 2017.
Early last month, we explained that the approval of the delay was essentially a formality. The delay clears the way for further exploration of the rule’s potential impact. Purportedly, the new administration is concerned with its impact on the small investor. In practice, though, it is more apparent that the concern is the bottom line of those brokers and advisors who prefer to operate without clear limitations on their conflicts of interest.
What does this really mean for plan sponsors and investors? It means that the importance of having a fiduciary will continue to draw more attention. The difference between a non-fiduciary and fiduciary’s standards of conduct will become more apparent. And hopefully, at the end of the day, more American investors will be working with a professional comfortable with a fiduciary standard – without regard to the degree to which it is required by a regulation. As we end most posts on the fiduciary rule, stay tuned.
Matt Eickman

Matt Eickman

Full Bio

Matthew loves to write. He also loves to think, though he’s probably a better writer than a thinker. He does not like to be on camera or in videos. This blog will allow him to write, challenge his ability to think, and, from time to time, test him with video blog entries.

He has a unique blend of legal and practical experience that helps us to serve our clients well. On the one hand, he has more than 12 years of private legal practice experience focusing exclusively on employee benefits, including time as a partner in an employee benefits boutique where he has represented clients in front of the DOL and IRS. On the other hand, he holds his FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations and serves as the Director of ERISA Services for Qualified Plan Advisors.

Matthew likes to stay active. He provides fiduciary training, Investment Policy Statement design, and vendor oversight to our clients. He is an active member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section, serving as Chair of the Defined Contribution Plans Subcommittee. He also has been appointed to the IRS TE/GE Gulf States Council and is a frequent speaker on regulatory developments, fiduciary responsibilities, and retirement readiness.

Most importantly, he stays active with his family. His wife, Laura, is the founder of REbeL, Inc., a not-for-profit organization. His three young boys are mixed up in far too many sports, and they enjoy traveling, watching college football, running with Dad, and rooting for the Huskers.
Matt Eickman
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