DOL Extends Fiduciary Comment Period

The period for public comment on the new fiduciary definition has been extended from 75 days to 90 days.

The comment period for the fiduciary proposal is being stretched out for another 15 days, the Department of Labor (DOL) said in a statement.

When the DOL first ran its fiduciary re-proposal in April, industry organizations were immediately struck by the relatively short timeline for digesting and weighing in on the proposed rule, and they didn’t hesitate to let the department know their feelings.

In its memo, the DOL contends that the comment period was never slated to close at 75 days. The department reminds the industry that a public hearing will take place within 30 days of the end of the comment period. Following the hearing, the comment period reopens for an unspecified amount of time—estimated at two weeks—timed to end with the release of the hearing transcript, meaning an additional 30 to 45 days of public comment.

When these steps are factored in, the DOL calculates the original 75-day comment period would have meant a time frame closer to 111 to 127 days of public comment.

The Federal Register will announce the final dates of public hearings, which are slated for the week of August 10.