The DOL Introduces New Fiduciary Rules to Protect Retirement Plan Savers
United States Department of Labor

The Department of Labor (DOL) has just announced important new fiduciary rules intended to protect the interests of retirement plan participants. The new rules make clear that anyone receiving compensation for making investment recommendations that are individualized or specifically directed to a particular retirement plan sponsor, plan participant, or IRA owner for consideration in making a retirement investment decision is a fiduciary. Under the new rules, an advisor must provide impartial advice in the client’s best interest and cannot accept any payments creating conflicts of interest unless the advisor qualifies for an exemption intended to ensure that the customer’s interests are protected.

The new rule defines a variety of investment education activities that don’t constitute fiduciary conduct. These include newsletters, general market research, media commentary and other marketing materials that a reasonable person would not view as an investment recommendation.

The new standards go into effect in April 2017.

If you’d like to learn more, you may find these DOL resources helpful:

The DOL’s Fact Sheet on the new rules.

The DOL’s FAQ’s about conflicts of interest rulemaking.