Type: Client Alerts
On April 8, 2016, after a proposal and comment process, the DOL issued its new Rule and related PTEs under ERISA, and the Internal Revenue Code, governing advice given to retirement savers investing in qualified accounts that include ERISA plans and IRAs. A primary focus of this Rule is to protect retirement savers from risks associated with advisors receiving conflicted compensation. Under the Rule, the new Impartial Conduct Standards were set to become effective April 10, 2017. These Standards require that advisers and Financial Institutions provide investment advice in the Retirement Investor’s Best Interest; not recommend transactions that will result in more than reasonable compensation; and not make misleading statements to the Retirement Investor about recommended transactions. The new DOL publications also include the Best Interest Contract, or BIC exemption, which is the primary vehicle to allow advisers to continue to be paid commissions. The BIC exemption creates a private right of action and is considered the source of significant anticipated litigation, including class actions. The current deadline for issuing the BIC contracts is January 1, 2018.