Last spring, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a controversial new rule which would govern retirement accounts, including IRAs and qualified employer-sponsored plans. The rule – which would impose a fiduciary standard of care on advisors who offer advice regarding retirement accounts – is now one step from being finalized. The Labor Department recently delivered the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which reviews proposed rules for economic consequences. Once OMB has signed off on the proposal, it will go back to the Labor Department for publication and implementation. OMB has 90 days to complete its review, although the process in this case is expected to be finished much sooner, perhaps as early as March.
On Feb. 3, the House Ways & Means Committee approved H.R. 4294, which would prevent the proposed rule from taking effect unless Congress approved it by a bill or joint resolution.