As you are aware, in 2016 the Department of Labor (DOL) finalized regulations updating, and expanding, the definition of “fiduciary” in regards to the provision of investment advice. Originally these regulations were set to become applicable in April of this year. The current administration wanted to delay the applicable date to allow the DOL to fully examine the impact of the new rules. As a result the DOL pushed back the applicable date to June 9th. Then, days after the confirmation of Secretary Acosta he confirmed that June 9th would be the date the new rules would become applicable. That date has arrived and we have a new operative definition of fiduciary for the financial services industry.
As you are likely aware, as a fiduciary under the rule, advisors must receive level compensation in connection with covered recommendations unless their engagement falls under an exemption. The DOL continues to make the Best Interest Contract (BIC) exemption available to allow fiduciaries to receive commissions and other forms of non-level compensation.
Importantly, the DOL has limited the requirements of the exemption to adoption and implementation of Impartial Conduct Standards, as defined in the rule. We continue to be excited to serve as fiduciary to your plan and help you navigate the new fiduciary environment with all of your service providers. Currently, there is no new paperwork that you need to receive or sign.
As more information becomes available Wellspring Financial Partners will continue to keep you informed. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Patrick Zumbusch or Deirdre Kochanski.