As we noted last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals vacated the proposed Department of Labor fiduciary rule that requires advisors who provide guidance on retirement accounts to act solely on the basis of their clients’ best interest. The Department of Labor had until April 30 to appeal the ruling, but has not done so. In light of the Department of Labor’s inaction, the Attorneys General of New York, California and Oregon, along with the AARP, have filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for a full rehearing on the rule.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has said that the motion is “an opportunity to intervene in this case to make sure that the fiduciary rule has the defense it needs to move forward.” And Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s chief advocacy and engagement officer, states that “AARP is not giving up on our fight to make sure that hard-earned retirement savings have strong protections from conflicts and hidden fees. Many financial advisors already give advice with the public’s best interests in mind. But the recent court decision allows some financial advisors to provide guidance based on what’s best for their pocketbooks, not the consumers.”
Industry groups have fought the rule and intend to continue doing so. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, FSI, Financial Services Roundtable, Insured Retirement Institute, and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association have issued a statement that they will ”oppose any attempt to intervene in this case at this late stage.” Stay tuned.