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DOL Seeks Input on Changes to Fiduciary Rule, Possible Extension of Applicability Date

The Department of Labor has issued another request for public comment on the Fiduciary Rule, seeking additional input about possible exemption approaches as well as the advisability of extending the January 1, 2018, applicability date. The DOL currently is reviewing the rule, parts of which have been in effect since June 9, 2017. The request for comment discussed the industry’s approaches to comply with the rule so far and called for more information on fund industry innovations, including the use of clean shares.  Comments on extending the January 1, 2018, applicability date of certain provisions of the rule should be submitted to the DOL on or before July 21, 2017. Comments in response to all other questions, particularly further exemptions or changes to the rule, should be submitted to the DOL on or before August 7, 2017. Meanwhile, the DOL defended the Fiduciary Rule in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other institutions, according to a Bloomberg report. The DOL filed a brief that maintained its support for the rule but said it would not defend a provision that prohibits fiduciaries from claiming the Best Interests Contract Exemption if they enter into arbitration agreements that prevent investors from participating in class-action litigation.