- On April 3, 2017
Michael Townsend, V.P., Legislative & Regulatory Affairs for Charles Schwab shares 3 key circumstances contributing to the unpredictability of the timing and outcome of the DOL fiduciary rule (Schwab):
- The confirmation hearing has yet to be scheduled for the President’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, who was tapped in February after restaurant executive and original nominee Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration. Acosta has not weighed in on the fiduciary rule but will be confronted with strong sentiments from career DOL staff who drafted the rule if and when he assumes office.
- Congress continues to consider legislative solutions to the fiduciary debate. One proposal would hand the issue over to the SEC and indefinitely delay the DOL from imposing the rule until the SEC has completed a comprehensive fiduciary rule that encompasses both retirement and non-retirement accounts. The wheels turn very slowly on Capitol Hill, however, and it remains unclear whether any fiduciary-related legislation could clear both the House and Senate. A resolution on that front is many months away at the very least.
- Legal challenges — to both the rule and to the delay — are a factor. Several legal challenges to the rule are underway, and legal action from consumer groups and other pro-fiduciary organizations to prevent the delay are also a strong possibility.
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