ERISA-DOL Now Withdraws Investment Advice Rules

Right on the heels of delaying the effective date of its investment advice rules (see my blog of November 18), the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) announced, in a press release, that it has withdrawn these rules. These rules would have implemented a statutory prohibited transaction exemption under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, and also would have provided an additional administrative class exemption, pertaining to the provision of investment advice to certain defined contribution plan participants and beneficiaries, as well as to IRA owners.

According to the news release, the DOL decided to withdraw the rules based on public comments that raised sufficient doubts as to whether the conditions of the rules and the class exemption could adequately protect the interests of plan participants and beneficiaries. The DOL intends to publish separately a proposed rule that conforms to the statutory exemption.

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