Her other concern is that the delay could signal a death knell for the provisions.
“[The Labor Department] is being misleading in calling this a delay,” Roper said. “That implies the provisions will eventually take effect. But DOL has made clear that a major reason behind [this] is to give them time to revise the rule and likely strip out those provisions that are essential to making it effective and enforceable.”
For critics of the fiduciary rule, the 18-month delay is a welcome relief.
“While the Department of Labor works to address significant concerns with the rule, the delay will help provide certainty to investors and avoid confusion and cost associated with continued piecemeal delays,” Kenneth Bentsen Jr., president and CEO of securities industry trade group SIFMA, said in a statement.
“SIMFA’s member firms have long advocated for a best-interest standard, but one that more broadly protects clients and better protects client choice,” he said.
The Labor Department also indicated in its amended rule that the delay will provide time to work with the SEC and other regulators, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, on potential changes to the delayed provisions.
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