The DOL recently dashed all hope of a reprieve on the June 9, 2017 effective date of the DOL Fiduciary Rule and portions of related prohibited transactions, and provided additional guidance to fiduciaries for the transition period through December 31, 2017.
On May 22, 2017, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) announced a temporary enforcement policy in Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2017-02, stating that the DOL will not pursue claims against fiduciaries who are “diligently and in good faith” working toward compliance with the DOL’s final rule defining who is a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) (the “Fiduciary Rule”) and the related prohibited transaction exemptions (“PTEs”) during the phased implementation period beginning June 9, 2017 and ending December 31, 2017. For more information regarding the delayed implementation of the Fiduciary Rule, please see “Fiduciary Rule Delayed by 60 Days”. The IRS also confirmed that it will not apply section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code, which imposes excise taxes on prohibited transactions, with respect to transactions covered by the temporary enforcement policy.