Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #6


Posted on May 24, 2016, by Fred Reish in DOL Activity, fiduciary, prohibited transaction, prudent, Uncategorized. Comments Off on Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #6

This is my sixth article about interesting observations “hidden” in the preambles to the fiduciary regulation and the exemptions.

In some cases, the concerns about the scope of the fiduciary rule are overblown. For example, there have been some statements that advice about minimum required distributions for IRAs would be fiduciary advice. That is not the case.

In the preamble to the fiduciary regulation, the DOL explained:

“With respect to the tax code provisions regarding required minimum distributions, the Department agrees with commenters that merely advising a participant or IRA owner that certain distributions are required by tax law would not constitute investment advice. Whether such “tax” advice is accompanied by a recommendation that constitutes “investment advice” would depend on the particular facts and circumstances involved.”

So, basic advice about tax requirements and consequences is not fiduciary advice. However, if the adviser recommends which investments the IRA owner should sell to fund the distribution, that is fiduciary investment advice which must be:

  • prudent and in the best interest of the IRA owner, and
  • free from financial conflicts of interest (or in compliance with a prohibited transaction exemption).






Recent Insights

Inside the Beltway — April 25, 2017

Please join us for our 20th Inside the Beltway presentation on April 25, 2017. This is the next session in our ongoing series of...

Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #41

While We Wait: The Current Fiduciary Rule and Annuities

This is my 41st article about interesting observations concerning the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule and...

DOL Issues Temporary Enforcement Relief for Fiduciary Rule Non-Compliance

The DOL has published Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-1, which provides some limited temporary relief while the industry waits to find out if the Fiduciary...