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May 23, 2017

Stroock Special Bulletin

By: Bruce D. Gallant, Abbey L. Keppler

On May 23, 2017 the Wall Street Journal published a letter by Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta in connection with the Department of Labor’s new “investment advice” fiduciary rule (the “Fiduciary Rule”) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) affecting accounts subject to ERISA and certain accounts subject to the analogous provisions of Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).  In the article, the Secretary stated that notwithstanding the fact that the Department of Labor will seek additional public input, the Fiduciary Rule will go into effect as currently scheduled on June 9, 2017. 

Separately, the Department of Labor issued, in Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2017-02, a notice of non-enforcement with respect to aspects of the Fiduciary Rule throughout the remainder of 2017, ostensibly to give market participants time to prepare for the final installment of the Fiduciary Rule’s applicability on January 1, 2018.  The Department of Labor also issued a new set of frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) on the Fiduciary Rule.  This Stroock Special Bulletin briefly highlights these pronouncements.