Impartial Conduct Standard Vs. Suitability Standard

New fiduciary education programming from LIMRA LOMA SRI is aimed at supporting retirement plan sales and service professionals operating under evolving ERISA standards. 

LIMRA LOMA Secure Retirement Institute (SRI) has updated its “Fiduciary Education for Sales and Service Professionals” training series, in response to changes in the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule issued in the Federal Register on April 7, 2017.

The updated course, first launched in October 2016, is an “online training program created to provide essential knowledge about the new rule and its implications for client-facing professionals.”

According to the DOL, now under the leadership of the Trump administration, a new “impartial conduct standard” rather than the “suitability standard” will be applied whenever advice is provided to retirement investors. The updated Fiduciary Education for Sales and Service Professionals course “clearly defines the impartial conduct standard and explores the impact to day-to-day business activities.”

“In addition, the new guidance emphasized the expectation for firms to offer training to their sales professionals,” LIMRA LOMA SRI warns. “Within the Federal Register Notice, the DOL advised that companies wishing to avoid citations from the DOL must demonstrate a good faith effort to comply with impartial conduct standards through policies and procedures, including training.”

Paul Henry, managing director, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, says there are “distinct advantages to having access to a turnkey program that documents course completion.”

“Many companies have less than five weeks to implement a training program that will satisfy the DOL’s expectations,” he notes. “The Fiduciary Education for Sales and Service Professionals course can be installed quickly and easily, allowing their sales professionals the time to complete the course before the deadline.”

Users are presented with a self-paced online curriculum “designed to educate all client-facing employees, including registered representatives, investment adviser representatives, insurance agents, wholesalers, contact center representatives and service personnel.”

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