The American Council of Life Insurers ("ACLI") and other insurance associations filed a complaint against the DOL seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the implementation of the fiduciary rule. The associations asserted the rule will "work harmful changes on the retirement savings marketplace and will disserve American consumers." The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
The ACLI stated that the fiduciary rule will:
"impact Americans' access to accurate and valuable information from financial professionals about their 401(k)s, IRAs and other retirement plans, including information about guaranteed lifetime income products such as annuities";
"impact the availability of lifetime income products in the marketplace" and "classify virtually all commercial interactions between those selling life insurance products and retirement investors as 'fiduciary' advice, despite the fact those relationships have never before been deemed fiduciary and do not bear the hallmarks of fiduciary status"; and
place "life insurance companies and financial professionals under a perpetual threat of litigation."
The ACLI argued that the DOL has "created a private right of action for plaintiffs' lawyers and state courts to enforce the complex and vague standards" of the rule.
Additionally, the ACLI contended that the DOL (i) failed to account for problems caused by the rule despite commenters' issues with it, (ii) relied on outdated studies when preparing the rule, and (iii) "unreasonably and arbitrarily dismissed the existing and effective regulatory structure enforced by the SEC, FINRA and state insurance regulators."
SIFMA and other trade associations filed a previous complaint against the DOL's fiduciary rule.
SIFMA and numerous financial associations filed a complaint against the Department of Labor with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The complaint would strike down an "overreaching" DOL fiduciary rule.
The Senate passed a resolution of disapproval blocking the Department of Labor's implementation of its "fiduciary" rule. The rule defines the term "fiduciary" and concerns conflicts of interest in retirement investment advice.
The Department of Labor adopted its final regulation addressing the definition of who is a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan under ERISA, or a plan under Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code, by virtue of giving investment advice to a plan, its participants or its beneficiaries. The fiduciary definition final rule, Best Interest Contract Exemption, certain principal transactions exemption, certain prohibited transactions exemptions, and amendments to certain class exemptions were published in the Federal Register.
The Department of Labor adopted its final regulation addressing the definition of who is a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan under ERISA, by virtue of giving investment advice to a plan, its participants or its beneficiaries.
U.S. House Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL), Richard Neal (D-MA), Phil Roe (R-TN) and John Larson (D-CT) introduced legislation that would require the DOL to receive congressional approval before implementing a final fiduciary rule. The legislation also outlines an alternative standard to the DOL's fiduciary proposal in the combined proposals of the "Strengthening Access to Valuable Education and Retirement Support Act" (the "SAVERS Act of 2015") (H.R. 4294) and the "Affordable Retirement Advice Protection Act" (the "ARAP Act") (H.R. 4293).
United States Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez argued that in an era of "huge shifts" to the "retirement paradigm," the implementation of a best-interest standard is critical to helping American families avoid "spend[ing] their golden years burdened by economic anxiety."
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questioned the "financial and editorial arrangements" behind a current study on the DOL's proposed Conflict of Interest rule.
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