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U.S. Department of Labor News

Department of Labor extends transition period for exemptions in fiduciary rule

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Labor announced Nov. 27 that it will extend the special transition period for the fiduciary rule’s best interest contract exemption and the principal transactions exemption.

DOL officially puts Obama administration’s fiduciary rule on hold for 18 months

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday it finalized plans to extend the transition period for full implementation from Jan. 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019.

Minn. judge issues injunction against DOL’s fiduciary rule, also grants stay

Judge Susan Richard Nelson for the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, in her order last week, said an “actual, ongoing controversy” exists between plaintiff Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Watchdog group sues DOL for records related to rollback of fiduciary rule

American Oversight, which was formed in March to serve as a check on the Trump administration, claims the U.S. Department of Labor has failed to respond to a July Freedom of Information Act request.

Missouri Congresswoman’s bill would kill DOL’s fiduciary rule, create best interest standard for broker-dealers

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, a Republican, introduced The Protecting Advice for Small Savers, or PASS, Act of 2017 last week.

Labor attorney: DOL’s persuader rule would’ve meant ‘real consequences’ for employers

Cozen O’Connor PC attorney Jeremy Glenn, the current co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation committee, said he “wholeheartedly” agrees with the U.S. Department of Labor’s recent move to rescind its so-called “persuader rule.”

DOL proposes 18-month delay of fiduciary rule’s full implementation

In June, the U.S. Department of Labor published a Request for Information, or RFI, related to the rule and whether to delay its full implementation. The rule, released in April 2016, mandates financial professionals who service individual retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k) plans, to serve the “best interest” of the savers and disclose conflicts of interest.

Labor Department seeks to fill vacancies on its pension benefits advisory council

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced Aug. 18 that its Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting nominations to fill five three-year vacancies on the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, also known as the ERISA Advisory Council. The DOL noted that Aug. 31 is the deadline for nominations.

Labor Department secures $5 million for ESOP members of Manhattan laser surgery center

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Labor announced Aug. 16 that the owner of a Manhattan laser surgery center will pay $5 million to its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) after allegations of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) by creating false company valuations.

Survey: DOL’s fiduciary rule already hurting savers, financial professionals

The Financial Services Roundtable, an advocacy organization for the nation’s financial services industry, polled 600 financial advisers from July 7-12.

DOL moves to rescind its persuader rule, citing ‘concerns’ raised by courts and need to review

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards published its notice in June, explaining it intends to rescind the rule, first published by the DOL in March 2016. The rule, or Persuader Advice Exemption Rule, effectively eliminates the “advice exemption” under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.

Nevada strengthens law governing financial planners

The revised state law, which became effective July 1, essentially requires investment advisers and stock brokers now to abide by the same fiduciary standards as others in the financial industry.

DOL looks to delay fiduciary rule until 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor and its new secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, last week notified a Minnesota federal court that it submitted to the Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, proposed amendments to three exemptions. The proposed amendments include an “extension of transition period and delay of applicability dates” from Jan. 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019.

MagnaCare to return $14.5 million to ERISA-covered health plans after alleged violations

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced July 25 that MagnaCare LLC will return at least $14.5 million to health benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) after allegations of ERISA violations.

DOL files brief in challenge to Obama overtime rule

NEW ORLEANS (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Department of Labor has filed notice with U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, asserting that the government has presently “decided not to advocate” for a specific salary level in its ongoing dispute with states over what workers should be eligible for overtime pay.

Labor Department alleges Florida business guilty of profit-sharing plan embezzlement

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Labor announced June 19 that the Secretary of Labor has filed a complaint against Andrea Lynn McCarthy, Lisa Hall, Truss Systems LLC and Truss Systems LLC Profit Sharing Plan.

Labor Department joins Pension Benefit Guaranty to recover $1.5 million for 2 participants

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced May 25 that the partnership between its Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has recovered close to $1.5 million for participants in two terminated Chicago-based pension plans.

Law prof: Trump's lawless behavior with fiduciary rule undermines process

Mercer Bullard, a University of Mississippi law professor and founder of Fund Democracy, a group that advocates for mutual fund shareholders, is puzzled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s 60-day delay, arguing the rule had one of the most thorough vettings.

Trump's decision to delay fiduciary rule might improve final version

Uday Singh, a partner in the financial institutions practice of A.T. Kearney, a global strategy and management consulting firm, argues the 60-day holdup already has proven somewhat beneficial, in that new information has emerged.

Despite delay, fiduciary rule 'already causing great harm'

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor released a measure officially delaying the implementation of the rule and its related exemptions by 60 days. The applicability date is now June 9. Some argue a longer delay is necessary, while others contend the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission should step in and craft a better rule.