The DoL proposed putting off the implementation for 60 days, in order to receive public comment. The final rule, recently published in the Federal Register, aims to make advice more accessible to 401(k) and IRA participants (see “DoL Finalizes Investment Advice Rules’ and “DoL Rule Gives More Advice Options’).
The DoL calls not only for public comment about the proposed rule implementation delay from March 23 to May 22, but about the policy issues in the rule itself. The DoL said the department will accept public comments until February 18, 2009.
“Extending the effective date would allow the Department of Labor to evaluate comments on questions of law and policy concerning the rules,” the DoL wrote in the proposal. “Thus, this document also seeks comments generally on the rules and on the merits of rescinding, modifying or retaining the rules.”
The move comes after White House instructions for agencies to think about putting off implementation of published final rules, which is common after a change in administrations and is typically aimed at giving the new officials a chance to put their imprint on public policy (see “White House Executive Order Snares Fee Disclosure, Advice Regs’).
The rule allows investment companies to provide advice to participants. However, the rule has come under fire by Congressmen who say it will keep participants from unbiased advice (see “Miller, Andrews Threaten to Block Advice Regulation’).
Members of the public can submit comments by e-mail to e-ORI@dol.gov (enter into subject line: “Investment Advice Final Rule’) or by using the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov. Those interested in submitting paper copies should send or deliver their comments to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Investment Advice Final Rule, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.