Eighteen financial services industry and business trade groups sent a letter to the Department of Labor today asking for an extension to the 60-day public comment period for its controversial fiduciary rule package.
The DOL released its latest fiduciary rule attempt last week, with President Joe Biden joining for a press conference to denounce “junk fees.” The rule was widely criticized by industry trade groups who claim the extension of fiduciary duty to virtually anyone recommending an annuity would have a chilling effect on advice to middle-market savers.
In its letter, the trade groups cited the precedent set by past DOL fiduciary rule proposals.
When the 2010 fiduciary rule was released, DOL initially had a 90-day comment period, followed by a 14-day extension. DOL then held a public meeting, followed by a 15-day comment period for response.
The 2016 fiduciary rule was accompanied by a 75-day comment period and a 15-day extension. After a public hearing, there was then another 15-day comment period.
“We believe that DOL should again provide at least a similar comment period, especially for a proposal that is nearly 500 pages long,” the letter reads.
Comment period under way
The department is accepting comments on its new fiduciary proposal through Jan. 2, 2024.
Headed by the “Retirement Security Rule: Definition of an Investment Advice Fiduciary,” the DOL published four separate rules Friday in the Federal Register. The remaining three rules deal with exemptions. The main retirement security rule has four comments listed as of today, federal regulators report.
An as-yet unscheduled public hearing will take place in about 45 days, the department said in the rule posting.
“The Proposed Rule makes significant and unanticipated changes to the current regulatory framework that will require significantly more time for meaningful analysis and comment, and to understand how this proposal would impact access and choice for retirement savers,” the trade group wrote. “Considering that DOL has spent almost three years crafting the Proposed Rule, it strikes us that affording all interested stakeholders sufficient time to provide meaningful feedback would be in DOL’s interest.”
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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