This week’s news that President-Elect Donald Trump would name Andy Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, as Secretary of the Department of Labor answered weeks of speculation in the retirement plan services industry. The fate of the fiduciary rule rests largely in the hands of the next DOL chief—and whoever is subsequently named leader of the Employee Benefits Security Administration. It is still unclear how the CEO of a company known for operating the Hardee's and Carl's Jr. burger brands will view the complex and controversial regulation, but we will likely soon find out.
There has been a marked proliferation of defined contribution plans in which individuals take on much more responsibility around saving for retirement. The spirit of the fiduciary rule is to ensure that plan participants and plan sponsors get the best possible advice in this challenging new environment.
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One early commentator tells PLANADVISER he expects the new DOL fiduciary rule will still be implemented, yet there is undoubtedly a new atmosphere of uncertainty with the presidential election result.
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When the SEC adopted the new Rule 30e-3 earlier this year, creating a new system for electronic delivery of fund information, it also established a transition disclosure period that starts in January, during which "funds that choose to implement the new delivery method for shareholder reports provide prominent disclosures in prospectuses and certain other shareholder documents that will notify investors of the upcoming change in transmission format.”