It’s been nearly a year since the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s Fiduciary Rule governing how investment professionals provide retirement advice to Americans first became effective. As of February 13, the first deadline to comply with the rule – April 10 – remains just right around the corner.
Our industry has been working diligently to prepare for that date. At RBC Wealth Management-U.S., we have expanded training programs for our advisors and we continue to enhance the tools and products advisors need to meet their obligations.
Recently, the new administration in Washington, D.C. directed the DOL to consider whether the Fiduciary Rule is consistent with the administration’s priority to empower Americans to make their own financial decisions and save for retirement as well as other typical lifetime financial needs. As a result, the DOL has proposed to delay the rule to allow for time to review the rule and to propose a course of action. Before the proposed delay can become effective, however, it must first clear the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Retirement savers and the firms that serve them are now wondering what impact, if any, this directive from the White House and the applicability date delay issued by the DOL will have on them.
It’s important to first point out that we don’t yet know if rule itself will be revised as a result of the DOL’s review. What remains constant, however, is RBC Wealth Management’s steadfast commitment to acting in a client’s best interest. This commitment is foundational to the relationship between a client and an advisor.
The primary concern we and others in the industry previously raised about the rule was whether it introduces unnecessary complexity that may make it difficult for investors to obtain the financial services important to them.
Will the DOL’s review result in changes that address those concerns? At this point it is too soon to tell.
So, over the coming weeks, we will continue our preparations for compliance. At the same time, we will evaluate any changes that the DOL may make, so we can provide our clients with the best possible products and services afforded under the regulation.
At RBC Wealth Management-U.S., we have always done what the rule is asking all firms to do: put the needs of clients first. This commitment will continue, and clients should expect to see that commitment from our financial advisors in action every day.