Tag Archives: failures

PTE 2020-02: The Remaining Steps: Retrospective Review and Correction of Compliance Failures (Part 1)

Key Takeaways

    • The next step in compliance with the DOL’s PTE 2020-02 is to conduct the annual retrospective review for 2022 and to reduce the review to a written report to be signed by a “senior executive officer.”
    • The review and report must be completed within 6 months after the end of the year.
    • In the process of conducting the review, it is likely that compliance failures will be discovered. To avoid prohibited transaction consequences, the failures must be corrected within 90 days of discovery and reported to the DOL within 30 days of correction.
    • The failures and corrections must also be included in the report.
    • There are a number of types of potential failures, some of which may be easy to correct and others of which will be more difficult.
    • Unfortunately, the DOL did not provide any guidance on how to correct failures. As a result, careful thought—with competent legal advice—should be given to the correction methodology.

Now that 2022 is behind us, the final steps in compliance with PTE 2020-02 must be satisfied. Those steps are (i) conducting the annual retrospective review and the resulting report (within six months) and (ii) correcting any compliance failures that are discovered in the course of the review.

The Review and Report are conditions to obtaining the relief afforded by the exemption. In other words, if they are not properly completed the protection is lost and all conflicted recommendations under the PTE are considered to be prohibited transactions. The consequence of having hundreds or even thousands of prohibited transactions is unimaginable. Here’s what the PTE says about the Retrospective Review and Report:

Continue reading PTE 2020-02: The Remaining Steps: Retrospective Review and Correction of Compliance Failures (Part 1)


Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors #93: Correction of Failures to Satisfy PTE 2020-02

Key Takeaways

The DOL’s expanded definition of fiduciary advice is described in the preamble to PTE 2020-02.

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. But the PTE then provides relief for conflicted non-discretionary recommendations. However, the relief is only available if all of its conditions are satisfied.

Unfortunately, we are already seeing that some broker-dealers and investment advisers have not fully complied with the exemption’s conditions, at least in connection with some of their recommendations.

That raises the question of “What are the consequences of those failures?” This article discusses the failures, corrections, reporting to the DOL, and inclusion of the failures in the annual retrospective review and report.


The DOL’s prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) 2020-02 (Improving Investment Advice for Workers & Retirees), allows investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks, and insurance companies (“financial institu­tions”), and their representatives (“investment professionals”), to receive conflicted compensation resulting from non-discretionary fiduciary investment advice to ERISA retirement plans, participants (including rollover recommendations), and IRA owners (all of whom are referred to as “retirement investors”). In addition, in the preamble to the PTE the DOL announced an expanded definition of fiduciary advice, meaning that many more financial institutions and investment professionals are fiduciaries for their recommendations to retirement investors and, therefore, will need the protection provided by the exemption.

For example, a rollover recommendation will ordinarily be nondiscretionary fiduciary advice and result in a financial conflict of interest that is a prohibited transaction under both ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. But, since the recommendation is nondiscretionary, PTE 2020-02 provides relief, but only if all of its conditions are met.

Continue reading Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors #93: Correction of Failures to Satisfy PTE 2020-02