On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) made available its long-awaited re-proposed regulation on the definition of “fiduciary” under section 3(21) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). The package of materials proposed by the DOL included:
- A regulation re-defining who is a fiduciary by reason of providing investment advice to a plan or an IRA (the 2015 Proposed Regulation);
- Two new prohibited transaction class exemptions; and
- Amendments to several existing prohibited transaction class exemptions.
In addition, the Department made available several documents in support of its regulatory impact analysis with respect to the proposals. We expect the materials to appear in a number of separate items published in the Federal Register on or about April 20, 2015. The comment period for the 2015 Proposed Regulation and the exemptions will be open for 75 days (until July 6, 2015). The DOL also plans to hold public hearings on the proposals, and will likely re-open the comment period after the hearings. The entire package of proposed changes 2015 Proposed Regulation will be subject to intense scrutiny and public debate in the upcoming months.