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  • BC Network
    LATEST POST
    Tuesday, June 6, 2017

    The Department of Labor has issued guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions to help firms and their advisers impacted by the Fiduciary Rule know what is expected on and after June 9, 2017, on and after January 1, 2018, and during the period between (the “Transition Period”).  We’ve outlined a few of the highlights below:

    As of June 9, 2017, firms and their advisers must comply with the “Best Interest Contract Exemption” and the “Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs”.  However, fewer conditions must be met to comply with these exemptions during the Transition Period.

    As described fully in the Fiduciary Rule, the “impartial conduct standards” generally require fiduciaries to make recommendations that are prudent, loyal, and free from material misrepresentation and to receive only reasonable compensation for such recommendations.  The impartial conduct standards do not apply to PTE 84-24 until January 1, 2018 but apply to PTEs 75-1, 77-4, 80-83, 83-1, and 86-128 on and after June 9, 2017.

    The DOL reassured firms implementing new compensation systems which will not be in place by June 9, 2017, that their advisers may still satisfy the impartial conduct standards – by, for example, disclosing that a certain recommended investment benefits the adviser more than another investment.

    Of specific interest to plan sponsors is Question 12.  There, the DOL outlines three types of communications a plan (including its representatives and an interactive tool) has with a participant and confirms all three still are not considered investment advice covered by the Fiduciary Rule because the plan only provided plan information or general financial, investment, and retirement information.

    The DOL also used these FAQs as a forum to explicitly state that making certain provisions applicable June 9th does not mean its review of the Fiduciary Rule (pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum issued February 3, 2017) is complete.  Changes may be forthcoming, but until a further delay or change to the Fiduciary Rule is announced, good faith efforts to comply with the Fiduciary Rule as it is currently drafted are required.

    RECENT POSTS
    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

    Originally posted on BankBryanCave.com. Employee Stock Ownership Plans offer an opportunity for banks to offer an attractive employee benefit plan, but can also do so much more.  On the latest episode of The Bank Account, Jonathan and I are joined […]

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

    Last month, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a resolution agreement with the Center for Children’s Digestive Health (CCDH) which included a $31,000 penalty. This isn’t the first time […]

    Monday, May 8, 2017

    Bryan Cave has launched a new blog focusing on labor and employment issues called Bryan Cave At Work (www.bcatwork.com).  Since labor & employment is a “neighbor” discipline to benefits, we will post links to some of their content from time […]

    Friday, May 5, 2017

    After weeks of “will they or won’t they” that rivals some of the great TV sitcom near romances for suspense (even though it was considerably shorter), House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”) just before going on recess […]

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    On April 5, the “Self-Insurance Protection Act” passed the House and moved to the Senate.  This bill, if enacted, would amend ERISA, the Public Health Service Act and the Internal Revenue Code (the “Big 3” statutes containing ACA rules) to […]

    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    Retirement plans are complicated creatures to administer so it perhaps is not surprising that the process of determining the beneficiary of a deceased participant can present its own set of challenges and, if things go awry, expose a plan to […]

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    The Department of Labor (DOL) released Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-01 on March 10, 2017, which outlines a temporary enforcement policy related to its final fiduciary rule. Background On February 3, 2017, President Trump directed the DOL to re-examine the final […]

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    In today’s virtual world, we suspect most plan sponsors rely upon the self-certification process to document and process 401(k) distributions made on account of financial hardship. The IRS has recently issued examination guidelines for its field agents for their use […]

    Tuesday, March 7, 2017

    Late on Monday, House Republicans revealed, in two parts (here and here, with summaries here and here) the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”) that is designed to meet the Republicans’ promise to “repeal and replace” the ACA.  In many respects, […]