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DOL Fiduciary Proposal Information

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor introduced a number of proposals that could lead to major changes in the retirement-plan industry, and for your practice specifically. View the links below for a wide range of information, from the text of the proposal itself, to analysis from NTSA leaders about what the rules might mean to you.

NTSA News

NTSA Presentations

NTSA Webcast

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: What’s Next? 

Available through August 18, 2016

American Retirement Association CEO and NAPA Executive Director Brian Graff and NTSA Executive Director Chris DeGrassi provide insights and perspective on the DOL fiduciary regulation, as well as review comments on the proposal submitted by NAPA and NTSA. 


NTSA Podcast

DeGrassi: What Does the DOL Fiduciary Regulation Mean to You? 

(Listen Now)    (Download)

April 23, 2015

NTSA Executive Director Chris DeGrassi provides an initial overview of the Department of Labor's new fiduciary regulation proposal, including what it means to advisors and others in the 403(b) and IRA marketplaces.

Congressional Documents

U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies

WitnessThomas E. Perez; Secretary, Department of Labor 

Opening Statements: Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.);  Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)

Department of Labor Documents

The Department of Labor issued a proposed regulation on April 14, 2015 which includes a proposed definition of who a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan is, as well as the “conflict of interest rule” concerning retirement investment advice. The proposed regulation appears in the April 20, 2015 Federal Register. 

The Department of Labor issued a proposed exemption from the proposed fiduciary definition regulation that would allow entities such as broker-dealers and insurance agents to receive compensation when plan participants and beneficiaries, IRA owners and certain small plans purchase, hold or sell certain investment products in accordance with their advice, under protective conditions to safeguard the interests of the plan participants and beneficiaries, and IRA owners. The proposed exemption would affect participants and beneficiaries of plans, IRA owners and fiduciaries regarding such plans and IRAs. The proposed exemption appears in the April 20, 2015 Federal Register.

The Department of Labor issued a proposed exemption from certain prohibited transactions provisions of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. These provisions generally prohibit fiduciaries regarding employee benefit plans and IRAs from purchasing and selling securities when the fiduciaries are acting on behalf of their own accounts. This proposed exemption would permit principal transactions in certain debt securities between a plan, plan participant or beneficiary account, or an IRA, and a fiduciary that provides investment advice to the plan or IRA, under conditions to safeguard the interests of these investors. The proposed exemption would affect participants and beneficiaries of plans, IRA owners and Fiduciaries and appears in the April 20, 2015 Federal Register.

The Department of Labor issued a proposed exemption that would permit investment advice fiduciaries to receive compensation when they extend credit to plans and IRAs to avoid a failed securities transaction. The proposed amendment would affect participants and beneficiaries of plans, IRA owners, and fiduciaries regarding such plans and IRAs and appears in the April 20, 2015 Federal Register.

The Department of Labor issued a proposed exemption that would allow fiduciaries to receive compensation regarding certain securities transactions entered into by plans and IRAs. The proposed amendments to prohibited transaction exemptions (PTE) 86-128 and 75-1 would increase the safeguards of the exemptions and partially revoke PTE 86–128 regarding transactions involving investment advice fiduciaries and IRAs, as well as PTE 75–1, Part II(2), and PTE 75– 1, Parts I(b) and I(c). The amendments and revocations would affect participants and beneficiaries of plans, IRA owners and certain fiduciaries of plans and IRAs and appear in the April 20, 2015 Federal Register.

The Department of Labor has proposed amendments to prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs) 75–1, 77–4, 80–83 and 83–1. Generally, ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code prohibit fiduciaries regarding employee benefit plans and IRAs from engaging in self-dealing, including using their authority, control or responsibility to affect or increase their own compensation. These existing exemptions generally permit fiduciaries to receive compensation or other benefits as a result of the use of their fiduciary authority, control or responsibility in connection with investment transactions involving plans or IRAs. The proposed amendments would require the fiduciaries to satisfy uniform impartial conduct standards in order to obtain the relief available under each exemption. The proposed amendments would affect participants and beneficiaries of plans, IRA owners and fiduciaries regarding such plans and IRAs. The proposal appears in the April 20, 2015 Federal Register.

The Department of Labor issued a proposed amendment to Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 84–24, an exemption from certain prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code which generally prohibit fiduciaries — regarding employee benefit plans and IRAs — from engaging in self-dealing in connection with transactions involving these plans and IRAs. The exemption allows fiduciaries to receive compensation when plans and IRAs enter into certain insurance and mutual fund transactions recommended by the fiduciaries, as well as certain related transactions. The proposed amendments would increase the safeguards of the exemption. This proposal also contains a proposed revocation of the exemption as it applies to IRA purchases of mutual fund shares and certain annuity contracts. The amendments and revocations would affect participants and beneficiaries of plans, IRA owners and certain fiduciaries of plans and IRAs, and appear in the April 20, 2015 Federal Register.

The Department of Labor on April 14, 2015 issued “Fiduciary Investment Advice: Regulatory Impact Analysis,” a discussion and analysis of the DOL’s proposal concerning the definition of fiduciary and the “conflict of interest rule” concerning investment advice.

The Department of Labor on April 14, 2015 issued a series of FAQs related to the DOL's definition of fiduciary proposal and the investment advice "conflict of interest" rule.

The Department of Labor has provided a fact sheet concerning its proposed rule to address conflicts of interest in retirement advice. It discusses the DOL effort to update retirement protections, compliance with the proposal, consumer protections, how the process of considering and finalizing the rule will proceed and how the current proposal differs from that issued in 2010. 

The Department of Labor on April 14, 2015 issued a news release concerning the issuance of the proposed rule concerning the definition of fiduciary and conflict of interest in providing retirement advice, as well as the DOL’s invitation to the public to comment on the proposal. 

White House Documents

The Executive Office of the President of the United States issued “The Effects of Conflicted Investment Advice on Retirement Savings,” a report that examines the cost and effects of what it considers conflicted investment advice and its effects on Americans’ retirement savings, focusing on IRAs. 

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