DoL Suggests Advice Rule Delay

February 4, 2009 ( - The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) has proposed putting off for 60 days the implementation of its recently released final mandate on making more accessible 401(k) and IRA participant advice.

The DoL proposal, published Wednesday in the Federal Register, calls not only for public comment about the proposed rule implementation delay from March 23 to May 22, 2009, but about the policy issues in the rule itself.

According to the DoL’s latest publication, the department will accept public comments until February 18, 2009.

“Extending the effective date would allow the Department of Labor to evaluate comments on questions of law and policy concerning the rules,” the department wrote. “Thus, this document also seeks comments generally on the rules and on the merits of rescinding, modifying or retaining the rules.”

The move comes after White House instructions for agencies to think about putting off implementation of published final rules, which is common after a change in administrations and is typically aimed at giving the new officials a chance to put their imprint on public policy (See  White House Executive Order Snares Fee Disclosure, Advice Regs ). The final advice rule was published in the Federal Register in January (See DoL Finalizes Rules on Investment Advice ).

Members of the public can submit comments by e-mail to (enter into subject line:  Investment Advice Final Rule) or by using the Federal eRulemaking portal at . Those interested in submitting paper copies should send or deliver their comments to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Investment Advice Final Rule, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.

The latest DoL proposal is available  here .