DOL Officials Resolute, But Flexible, on Fiduciary Rule
Top leadership at the Department of Labor (DOL) has indicated that the department will not bend on its fiduciary rule, but then again, it may. Bad cop, good cop?
Not entirely. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Phyllis Borzi made remarks concerning the rule at the meeting of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission
held on June 29 in Washington, DC., ThinkAdvisor reports
Perez noted that there are lawsuits that have been set in motion against the fiduciary rule, pledging that the DOL will fight them “vigorously.” He reportedly added that he contends that the department is “on the right side of history” in promulgating the rule.
Borzi, who moderated a panel on financial education and retirement investment advice at the meeting, did not contradict Perez on defending the rule against legal challenges. However, she indicated that while the department will not be making “fundamental changes” to the rule, it may issue guidance that offers fresh clarification on particular provisions and their application.
Borzi said that it is “very difficult” to determine where education ends and advice begins, and what constitutes each. She told attendees that the DOL has received comments concerning areas in which they need clarification from the department. The DOL has not settled upon the format that any guidance it issues will take, she said.