(Adds details, background)
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON, April 4 The U.S. Labor Department
will delay implementation of its "fiduciary" rule by 60 days
while it undertakes a review on whether the rule may hinder
Americans' ability to get access to retirement investment
advice, according to a filing in the Federal Register.
The department's rule, which requires brokers offering
retirement investment advice to act in the best interest of
their customers, has been heavily criticized by Republicans and
Wall Street amid concerns it may make investment advice too
The delay of the rule, which was slated to take effect April
10, was prompted after President Donald Trump in February
ordered the department to conduct the review on whether it
should be revised or repealed.
In order to delay the effective date, the department had to
undertake a formal rule-making process.
If the department ultimately decides on a repeal or change,
it will need to undertake another rule-making process in the
In addition to the 60-day delay, the department also said
that other regulatory requirements in the rule for firms to
provide disclosures and written representations of compliance to
investors will not be mandated until Jan. 1, 2018.
That date, the department added, is when it expects to
complete its review.
As of March 17, the department said it had received 15,000
comments in support of a delay, versus 178,000 comments opposing
Despite the lop-sided results, the department said a delay
is justified because time is needed to complete the
presidentially mandated review.
Rigid adherence to the original April 10 compliance
deadline, the department said, could result in "an unduly
chaotic transition to the new standards" and lead to "confusion,
excessive costs, and needlessly restricted or reduced advisory
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Dan Grebler)