ERISA-Yet Another Delay Of The Effective Date Of The DOL Regulations Permitting Professional Investment Advice

For those of you waiting for the Department of Labor to assign a final effective date to its regulations permitting investment advice to plan participants and IRA beneficiaries, you have to wait at least another 6 months.

More specifically, the regulations at issue are promulgated under the prohibited transaction rules of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, and relate to the provision of investment advice by a professional advisor to participants and beneficiaries in individual account plans, such as 401(k) plans, and to beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts (and certain similar plans). Originally, these regulations were issued on January 21, 2009, and were to become effective and applicable on March 23, 2009. However, by rule published on March 20, 2009, the effective and applicability date was delayed until May 22, 2009. Now, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has announced that the effective and applicability date is being delayed to November 18, 2009, to allow the DOL time to review questions of law and policy which have been raised by commenters. According to the announcement, the DOL believes that the complexity and significance of the issues involved justify this delay.

The DOL announcement of the delayed effective date is here.

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