The Fifth Circuit handed down a ruling vacating the United States Department of Labor’s “fiduciary rule” for retirement account advisers and has created confusion in the investment arena that will hopefully (likely only) be resolved or clarified when the Department of Labor decides whether to drop the case or pursue it on appeal.

The Fifth Circuit panel rejected the so-called DOL Rule in its entirety, with the majority ruling in favor of the United States Chamber of Commerce that the Department of Labor overstepped its authority and that its redefinition of "fiduciary" was unreasonable.

This ruling conflicts with the narrower Tenth Circuit opinion that upheld the DOL Rule with respect to fixed indexed annuity sales.

The case is Chamber of Commerce et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor et al., Case Number 17-10238, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.