House Approves Bill to Delay DOL Fiduciary Rule

October 31, 2013 ( – The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that would delay issuance of a new definition of fiduciary by the Department of Labor (DOL).

According to text of the Retail Investor Protection Act, “the Secretary of Labor shall not prescribe any regulation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.) defining the circumstances under which an individual is considered a fiduciary until the date that is 60 days after the Securities and Exchange Commission issues a final rule relating to standards of conduct for brokers and dealers pursuant to the second subsection (k) of Section 15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.”

The bill goes on to say the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cannot issue its final rule until it determines whether retail investors are being harmed by different standards for broker/dealers and advisers and whether adopting a uniform fiduciary standard of care for broker/dealers and advisers would adversely impact retail investors’ access to personalized investment advice.

During a recent speaking engagement, Assistant Secretary of Labor Phyllis Borzi of the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) said the agency is “very close to finishing” a new definition of fiduciary (see “Shutdown Put Delay on Some Regulations”). She assured the audience the EBSA is working closely with the SEC on the regulations.

Text of House bill H.R. 2374 is here.