Pres. Trump Seeks Additional Analysis of DOL’s Conflict of Interest Rule

On Feb. 3, 2017, Pres. Trump published a memorandum to the DOL, instructing the DOL to analyze the Conflict of Interest Rule (the Rule) and its impact on American investors. The Rule, which is set to take effect on April 10, 2017, expands ERISA’s definition of “fiduciary” by identifying additional forms of communication that would constitute investment advice and would deem the giver of such advice a fiduciary under ERISA.

Citing a desire to “empower Americans to make their own financial decisions,” Trump directed the DOL to examine the Rule and determine if it will adversely affect Americans’ ability to receive retirement information and financial advice. Pursuant to that examination, the DOL is being tasked with preparing an updated economic analysis concerning any possible impact of the Rule. The memo further requires the DOL to rescind or revise the Rule if its impact is found to be inconsistent with the policy of the Administration.

Although the memo did not include a required delay, the DOL has come forward saying that they will consider whether to delay the applicability of the rule. However, until they provide additional information, the applicability date of the rule is still April 10, 2017. Because the Rule was finalized and published, its repeal is a complicated process that cannot be achieved through presidential memorandum alone. The White House will have to work with the DOL and Congress to make any permanent changes to the Rule.

We will continue to monitor this situation and provide additional information as it becomes available.

Presidential Memo »