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Confusion Abounds After Fifth Circuit Decision Vacates DOL Fiduciary Rule

March 16, 2018

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled, by a two-to-one majority, to vacate the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary rule, based on arguments put forward by the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association.

This latest decision comes nearly a year a Texas district court judge roundly rejected the investment industry advocacy groups’ arguments that the DOL exceeded its authority in crafting the fiduciary rule. Exactly what this latest move spells for the regulation’s future under the Trump administration is yet unclear, especially given that just this week the Tenth Circuit issued an essentially opposite ruling, determining in no uncertain language that DOL’s fiduciary rulemaking process has played out properly and within the confines of the regulator’s broad existing authority. Experts are still grappling with the question of how the conflicting rulings should be interpreted, particularly on the point of whether an appeal to the Supreme Court could occur. 

In this PLANADVISER article, Blaine Aikin, AIFA®, CFA, CFP® , Fi360's executive chairman, weighs in. 

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