DOL Announces 18-Month Extension of Applicability
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) released the following statement from IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford in response to the official announcement by the Department of Labor (DOL) of an eighteen-month delay of the applicability date for full implementation of the fiduciary rule.
“The Insured Retirement Institute commends the Department of Labor for issuing an eighteen-month extension on full implementation of the fiduciary rule. Evidence gathered since the June 9th partial implementation has demonstrated that consumers are being adversely impacted by this rule.
This delay will allow the DOL to take the time it needs to determine how to revise the rule to prevent these adverse effects from continuing. IRI has long supported the establishment of a best interest standard of conduct that preserves access to affordable financial advice and a wide array of lifetime income products. As evidenced by the comments** submitted to the DOL by IRI and numerous other interested parties, the fiduciary rule has proven to be overly burdensome and complex, and has made it increasingly difficult for Americans to access affordable advice from financial professionals.
IRI remains committed to working with the DOL, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Members of Congress, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and individual state insurance regulators, and all other appropriate regulators and policymakers to help formulate a workable standard.”
**Comments from IRI
“The Insured Retirement Institute is pleased that the Department of Labor (DOL) acted expeditiously to issue a 60-day delay of the applicability date and a delay until January 1, 2018, for a number of provisions of the fiduciary rule which would significantly harm retirement savers by limiting access to financial guidance, reducing service provider choice and products, and raising the cost of saving for retirement.”
“The delays provided by the DOL are necessary to give the appropriate time needed to conduct the examination the President directed—which reflects IRI’s well-founded, ongoing, and significant concerns about the rule. However, IRI is disappointed to see that the Department did not delay all the provisions of the rule. The President directed the Department to examine all questions of law and policy raised by the rule, the potential harm that could be caused to retirement savers, as well as potential market disruptions that could occur from the Department’s failure to delay all the provisions of the rule.”
“We are hopeful that a delay to at least January 1, 2018, of all the provisions will be granted expeditiously following the closing of the comment period on April 17, 2017. Without a delay of the additional provisions of the rule set to take effect on June 9, 2017, the Department will not be able to properly assess the harm caused to the retirement savers and the financial services firms that serve them.”
About the Insured Retirement Institute: The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is the leading association for the retirement income industry. IRI proudly leads a national consumer coalition of more than 30 organizations, and is the only association that represents the entire supply chain of insured retirement strategies. IRI members are the major insurers, asset managers, broker-dealers/distributors, and 150,000 financial professionals. As a not-for-profit organization, IRI provides an objective forum for communication and education, and advocates for the sustainable retirement solutions Americans need to help achieve a secure and dignified retirement. Learn more at www.irionline.org.