Dear DOL: How About Another Comment Period on Fiduciary Rule?

By ASPPA Net Staff • November 03, 2015 • 0 Comments
They may not have been willing to block the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary proposal with legislation, but a group of Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives are asking for some additional time to comment on the final proposal before it’s final.

The request comes in the form of a letter from nearly 50 House members to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, and asks that the DOL open a 15-30 day comment period before finalizing the fiduciary proposal.

Originating from the office of Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), the letter notes that this request could be accommodated “…without disrupting your intended timeline of implementing the Rule by the end of 2016…”. To do so, the letter notes that the rule could be submitted to OMB for an expedited review period, which they say could last less than a week. “This would allow you to receive the necessary feedback from all parties on the changes you make in the Rule,” the letter says. “You would then be able to make final changes based on this short comment period, and presumably finalize the Rule.

“Otherwise, it will be harder to discern if the Rule can be implemented without unintended consequences, particularly regarding the provision of high-quality financial advice to low and middle income American families,” says the letter.

The letter acknowledges the “high number of outstanding ‘Questions’ and ‘Requests for Comments’ on the fiduciary reproposal, “as well as the incredible volume of feedback the Rule has received,” including one letter with 96 Democratic cosigners, as well as more than 3,500 public comments.”

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would block the DOL from finalizing its fiduciary proposal until the Securities and Exchange Commission weighs in, on almost completely partisan lines. However, a number of Democratic House members have expressed concern about the proposal throughout the process.

Whether this most recent request will fall on receptive ears at the DOL remains to be seen.