Each calendar quarter, I post approximately 12 articles on my blog, fredreish.com. This quarterly digest provides links to the most popular posts during the past three months so that you can catch up on what you missed or re-read them.
The DOL’s fiduciary interpretation and Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 2020-02 and its requirements were not all effective at the same time, causing some confusion. This article discusses the four effective dates or, more appropriately, enforcement dates.
Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors #96: Annuity Recommendations, PTE 84-24, and Fiduciary Misunderstandings
The DOL’s expanded interpretation of fiduciary advice as described in the preamble to Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 2020-02 applies to all rollover recommendations, including recommendations to roll over into annuities. A fiduciary recommendation to roll over from an ERISA-governed retirement plan results in a conflict of interest that is a prohibited transaction under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. This article discussed the DOL’s expanded interpretation in the context of the insurance industry, relief provided by PTE 2020-02 and PTE 84-24, and the conditions that must be satisfied for each.
When conflicted fiduciary advice is given to retirement investors — that is, retirement plans, participants (including rollovers), and IRA owners — it results in prohibited transactions under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. However, PTE 2020-02 provides relief for conflicted non-discretionary recommendations. While most of the focus of the literature, and of these blog articles, about rollover recommendations has been on the DOL’s fiduciary interpretation and PTE 2020-02, the SEC has, for the most part, harmonized its best interest/fiduciary requirements for rollover recommendations with those of the DOL. This article discusses the two-part harmony between the agencies, and the areas of disharmony.
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