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Viewing posts in the Regulatory Update category.


Q&A on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule: BICE & PTEs

Posted by Duane Thompson on May 10, 2016 in Fiduciary Excellence Fiduciary Q&A In the News Regulatory Update Spotlight on Practices

A few weeks ago, we presented webinars covering the DOL’s recently released fiduciary rule. A recording of that webinar is now available. During that webinar we received over 80 questions. We were not able to answer all of those during the one hour session, but we have compiled and answered them here. The questions are categorized, and we will do separate blog posts to address all of the questions within a given category. These questions are not comprehensive of the rule, they only address the questions that were submitted. Think of them as an addendum to the webinar. For...

Q&A on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule: BICE & PTEs

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Q&A on the DOL Rule: Compensation

Posted by Duane Thompson on May 06, 2016 in Fiduciary Excellence Fiduciary Q&A Regulatory Update

Two weeks ago, we presented webinars covering the DOL’s recently released fiduciary rule. A recording of that webinar is now available. During that webinar we received over 80 questions. We were not able to answer all of those during the one hour session, but we have compiled and answered them here. The questions are categorized, and we will do separate blog posts to address all of the questions within a given category. These questions are not comprehensive of the rule, they only address the questions that were submitted. Think of them as an addendum to the webinar. For a...

Q&A on the DOL Rule: Compensation

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Follow up Q&A from our DOL rule webinars: Plan Sponsor Responsibilities

Posted by Duane Thompson on April 29, 2016 in Fiduciary Excellence Regulatory Update

Two weeks ago, we presented webinars covering the DOL’s recently released fiduciary rule. A recording of that webinar is now available. During that webinar we received over 80 questions. We were not able to answer all of those during the one hour session, but we have compiled and answered them here. The questions are categorized, and we will do separate blog posts to address all of the questions within a given category. These questions are not comprehensive of the rule, they only address the questions that were submitted. Think of them as an addendum to the webinar. For a...

Follow up Q&A from our DOL rule webinars: Plan Sponsor Responsibilities

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Follow up Q&A from our DOL rule webinars: Rollovers and IRAs

Posted by Duane Thompson on April 25, 2016 in Fiduciary Excellence In the News Regulatory Update

Two weeks ago, we presented two webinars on consecutive days covering the DOL’s recently released fiduciary rule. A recording of that webinar is now available. During that webinar we received over 80 questions. We were not able to answer all of those during the one hour session, but we have compiled and answered them here. The questions are categorized, and we will do separate blog posts during the week to address all of the questions within a given category. These questions are not comprehensive of the rule, they only address the questions that were submitted. Think of...

Follow up Q&A from our DOL rule webinars: Rollovers and IRAs

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What’s the difference between “sole” interests and “best” interests?

Posted by Bennett Aikin on May 13, 2015 in Fiduciary Corner In the News Regulatory Update

If you’re like me, you’re probably guilty of using the terms interchangeably at least on occasion. So what is the difference between “sole” interest and “best” interest? And why does it matter? In his most recent Fiduciary Corner column for InvestmentNews, fi360 CEO Blaine Aikin looks at this distinction and asks whether some conflicts are what’s “best” for investors.  Sole Interests   The sole interest standard is the more rigid standard, requiring that conflicts of interest in a fiduciary relationship be avoided entirely. Strictly speaking, a sole...

What’s the difference between “sole” interests and “best” interests?

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Your Primer on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule Proposal

Posted by Bennett Aikin on April 15, 2015 in In the News Regulatory Update

The Department of Labor’s anticipated rule on conflicts of interest (aka, the Fiduciary Rule), is now available. For your convenience, we’ve prepared an executive summary covering the basics of the rule. We’ll have much more information about the rule in the coming days and throughout the comment period. But, for now, here’s your quick guide to the just released rule proposal.  What is it? Yesterday’s release is a new rule proposal under ERISA from the Department of Labor. It seeks to expand what constitutes retirement advice and therefore subject...

Your Primer on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule Proposal

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An Update to Reg D could be Opportunity for Advisors Willing to Take on Additional Due Diligence

Posted by Bennett Aikin on March 25, 2015 in Fiduciary Excellence Regulatory Update

Regulation D is an SEC rule designed to help small businesses raise capital by offering the sale of unregistered securities to investors deemed qualified to step into the private-placement market. Since the rule was created in 1982, the threshold for becoming an accredited investor had entirely to do with the size of the investor’s bank account, rather than any financial acumen. The rule is due for a required review this year and it appears as if expanding the definition to include investors who meet a sophistication test is on the table. If that were to happen, it could be...

An Update to Reg D could be Opportunity for Advisors Willing to Take on Additional Due Diligence

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White House Stirs Up Fiduciary Debate

Posted by Bennett Aikin on February 23, 2015 in In the News Regulatory Update

The White House came out strong today in support of raising the standard of care for anyone providing advice on retirement accounts. Speaking at AARP, President Obama aimed his comments to investors, explaining how small differences in fees can have a big effect on account balances and making the case for a “best interests” standard for advisors. This came in coordination with the release of a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers on the economic effects of conflicts of interests by advisors, as well as new PR efforts on the White House website. As we...

White House Stirs Up Fiduciary Debate

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Santomenno court case a window into debate over DOL fiduciary rulemaking

Posted by Duane Thompson on February 13, 2015 in In the News Regulatory Update

As the industry waits for the DOL to re-propose its fiduciary rule, a case at the appellate level last year provides an interesting preview of the upcoming debate. Last September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided that a retirement plan provider was not a functional fiduciary by virtue of its role selecting and monitoring a “Big Menu” of funds for its clients to select from. This was not a surprising result, as it merely reinforced settled law from previous court decisions. What makes this case so interesting is how the plaintiffs, defendants, and...

Santomenno court case a window into debate over DOL fiduciary rulemaking

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QLACs Offer New Retirement Planning Options, Advisors Must do their Due Diligence

Posted by Duane Thompson on July 23, 2014 in Fiduciary Excellence In the News Regulatory Update

Recent regulations issued by the Department of Treasury, four years in the making, offer an intriguing new retirement planning option for pension and retail advisers by easing required minimum distribution rules to encourage the purchase of deferred-income annuities.  The new rules went into effect July 2. The new regulations generally allow participants in defined contribution plans, as well as IRA account holders, to purchase what Treasury calls a Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contract, or QLAC, exempt from mandatory distribution rules at age 70½.  The latest guidance is part of the Administration’s broader effort to “bolster retirement...

QLACs Offer New Retirement Planning Options, Advisors Must do their Due Diligence

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Anatomy of a Fiduciary Vote

Posted by Duane Thompson on November 06, 2013 in In the News Regulatory Update

Editor's Note: We typically publish on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Due to the upcoming holiday season, we will instead be publishing on the first and third Wednesdays of November and December.   * * * * * Something unusual happened along the way to a House vote on the ERISA fiduciary standard. The “Retail Investor Protection Act,” a bill strongly supported by House Republicans to delay the Labor Department’s pending fiduciary rule, was sailing toward passage on the House floor with bipartisan support. Although never expected to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, the bill was intended...

Anatomy of a Fiduciary Vote

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It's Thumbs Up for New Suitability Rule, but Questions Remain

Posted by Duane Thompson on October 09, 2013 in Regulatory Update

Little more than a year after FINRA’s new beefed-up suitability rule went into effect, some law firms are crediting the SRO and its members with a successful roll-out.  One prominent law firm, reading between the lines of a report from FINRA on its recent examination observations, declared the updated rule “a fairly successful work in progress.”  Another firm’s analysis interpreted the report as FINRA giving its member firms a “thumbs up on suitability rule compliance.” Although the new suitability standard sounds like a box office hit,...

It's Thumbs Up for New Suitability Rule, but Questions Remain

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Fiduciary Links: SEC Taking Closer Look at Custody Issues Due to Early Findings

Posted by fi360 Team on March 11, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News Regulatory Update

>>>The SEC issued a risk alert last week that highlights a number of deficiencies under the Advisers Act custody rule that have been encountered as part of recent adviser examinations (see the InvestmentNews summary). These include a number of scenarios where the adviser doesn’t realize that it has custody, failing to file for an annual surprise audit of custody practices, client notification problems, commingling problems, problems with audit procedures, and other problems. From an investor protection standpoint, the SEC is mostly concerned with stopping any new Madoffs from happening by keeping a closer eye on...

Fiduciary Links: SEC Taking Closer Look at Custody Issues Due to Early Findings

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Fiduciary Hedge Clauses, Mary Jo White, and the Pending Rule

Posted by Duane Thompson on February 14, 2013 in Regulatory Update

>>>>The Investment Advisers Act of 1940 has long prohibited so-called “hedge clauses,” provisions in an advisory agreement that waive compliance with any provision of the Act. In terms of the advisor’s fiduciary duty, any effort to waive it would be folly – unless you are Congress or the SEC. In its own inexplicable wisdom, Congress chose to narrow the parameters of the fiduciary duty under the Dodd-Frank reform act by limiting investment advice to retail customers, and curtailing the duty once advice is dispensed. The prognosis for preserving the traditional fiduciary standard isn...

Fiduciary Hedge Clauses, Mary Jo White, and the Pending Rule

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