ERISA Fiduciary Rule: Fifth Circuit Vacates New ERISA Fiduciary Rule

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - March 19, 2018
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On March 15, 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated, in its entirety, the Department of Labor’s 2016 regulation that put broker/dealers, underwriters, and other financial service providers at greater risk of being treating as a fiduciary to pension plans, 401(k) plans, and IRA investors.  The fate of the 2016 fiduciary rule has long been uncertain.  The Trump Administration has been reconsidering the Obama-era rule, and may revise it or attempt to repeal it altogether.  For now, the regulatory environment has not formally changed, so there is not yet a firm legal basis for providers of financial services to abandon the policies and procedures that have been adopted in response to the rule.