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DOL Rule Implementation... or not

Tami Sytsma, CFP® CPWA®, Registered Principal, RJFS, Financial Strategist, SWS

April 26, 2017

Last year, the Department of Labor made sweeping changes to the ERISA fiduciary standard of care, (originally intended to be effective 4/10/17) redefining who is considered a fiduciary with respect to retirement plans and IRAs by reason of providing investment advice for compensation. Fiduciary duty is the legal responsibility between two parties for one party (the fiduciary) to act solely in the interest of the other party (the principal – you). For example, if an advisor is considering recommending one of two investments to her client and those investments are, for all intents and purposes, equal except that one will pay the advisor a higher commission by charging the client a higher fee, the advisor is obligated to recommend the investment with the lower fee, as it’s in the best interest of the client to pay less fees.

You may have heard that there is potential for this rule to be vacated by the Trump administration; it’s implementation has already been delayed once. We want to reassure you that regardless of any action taken or not taken by the administration, we will continue to put your best interest first in everything we do and everything we recommend to you – this has always been our driving force. We believe strongly that this is the right thing to do with or without a DOL rule dictating it.

However, it is not just our conscience that we answer to as financial professionals. We are also held accountable by standards and rules that have been in place for years, including FINRA and the SEC Fiduciary Standards, the CFP® Professionals and the College for Financial Planning Standards of Professional Conduct.  

Please reach out to us if you have questions or concerns regarding the DOL rule or how we put your best interests first.

To read the fiduciary rule in its entirety, go to DOL.gov.