In our February 2017 Blog post – Smoking out the fiduciary rule – we argued that, as consumers and institutions get used to higher standards, those rules are harder to roll back. We argued that the implementation of the fiduciary rule for retirement accounts, even if it never becomes the de jure standard, should be (and is already becoming) the de facto standard.
The latest wrinkle to this kerfuffle happened last week, when the Department of Labor put a timeline on the fiduciary rule implementation delay: 60 days. That’s good news for consumer advocates who want to see widespread adoption of the higher standard. Rather than a hazy, indefinite limbo between different states, the DOL is putting pressure on service vendors to be ready quickly. By next quarter, the fiduciary rule may be law of the land after all.