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New DOL Rule on Retirement Advice Aligns with the SEC's Reg BI

By NAIFA on 12/15/20 6:24 PM

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized its new prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) for financial professionals who provide retirement plan advice. The PTE requires advisors to work in the best interests of their clients, receive reasonable compensation, and make no “materially misleading statements.” The PTE is effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The DOL exemption aligns with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest, and preserves opportunities and choices for workers and retirees seeking high-quality, personalized advice.

“NAIFA thinks the Department of Labor proposal – with the modifications in today’s final rule – will benefit retirement investors by preserving access to a wide variety investment advice professionals, products, and compensation arrangements,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux. “The Department has struck the right balance between crafting a PTE with robust compliance obligations that serve the interests of investors, while avoiding an overly prescriptive approach or penalizing certain market segments or arrangements versus others.”

The DOL under the Obama administration initially issued a rule that would have imposed a restrictive fiduciary duty on financial professionals and hindered access of middle-market investors to retirement services and advice. NAIFA was among the organizations that filed a lawsuit resulting in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacating the rule in 2018.

Topics: Advocacy Retirement Legislative & Regulatory Reg BI
1 min read

SEC Chair Clayton to Step Down

By NAIFA on 11/17/20 8:45 AM

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) would like to thank Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton for his leadership and service. Clayton has announced that he will leave the agency at the end of 2020. As chairman, Clayton has shown a strong willingness to understand and consider the perspectives of financial professionals. He has met with NAIFA leaders and members on issues of importance to advisors and their clients.

Topics: Legislative & Regulatory Reg BI SEC
1 min read

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Reg BI

By NAIFA on 6/29/20 10:45 AM

In an opinion published last Friday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the validity of the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest and rejected the challenge to the rule which had been filed last fall by a group of state attorneys general and several private financial firms. The court did not agree with the plaintiffs’ claim that the Dodd Frank Act required the SEC, if it chose to act, to adopt a standard of conduct for broker-dealers that paralleled the fiduciary standard applicable to investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act.

Topics: Standard of Care Reg BI
1 min read

SEC Chair Urges Caution Recommending Retirement Account Rollovers, Withdrawals

By NAIFA on 6/18/20 9:07 AM

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton issued a statement June 15 reminding financial firms and advisors of the new, enhanced conduct standards found in Regulation Best Interest. Reg BI requires broker-dealers and their representatives to act in the best interest of their clients when making recommendations, and to not put the firm’s or representatives’s financial interests ahead of the consumer’s.

Topics: Retirement 401(k) Standard of Care Reg BI

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