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Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) head Lisa Gomez is predicting changes to the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) fiduciary rule due to “changes in the marketplace since 1975.” She noted, though, that EBSA is also considering the litigation that has overruled previous attempts by EBSA to change the fiduciary rule, especially in connection with advice on rollovers.

Gomez noted that EBSA has been trying to impose a tougher fiduciary rule on advisors giving rollover advice for more than ten years, but so far, its efforts have been stymied by the courts. “We’re taking into consideration not only the passage of time from the 1975 rule, but also what’s happened in litigation,” Gomez said.

Prospects: Despite EBSA targeting late August as the time by which they will propose a new fiduciary rule, most Washington insiders think it will take longer, maybe much longer. The rulemaking initiative is embroiled in the controversy over whether Julie Su can continue as acting head of DOL, and what DOL wants to do has been pretty firmly rejected by the courts. So, while it is possible that EBSA will release a new proposed fiduciary rule that will zero in on rollover advice, it is more likely that the issue will continue to simmer on the back burner for the rest of this year.

NAIFA Staff Contact: Jayne Fitzgerald – Director – Government Relations, at jfitzgerald@naifa.org.