EBSA Pulls Back Controversial Advice Mandate

The long saga of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DoL) hotly debated investment advice rule took another twist today when the DoL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) announced the controversial final rule is being withdrawn.

The latest announcement follows EBSA’s recent extension of the applicability and effective dates of the rule to May 17, 2010 (see “EBSA Further Delays Advice Rule”). EBSA said the extension expires on the rule’s withdrawal.

“The department decided to withdraw the rule based on public comments that raised sufficient doubts as to whether the conditions of the final rule and the class exemption associated with the rule could adequately protect the interests of plan participants and beneficiaries,” EBSA commented in a news release.

The agency said it intends to publish separately a proposed rule that conforms to the Pension Protection Act statutory exemption relating to investment advice.