In response to multiple questions about the “investment advice” exemption (Exemption) of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), the Department of Labor (Department) has just released Field Assistance Bulletin 2007-01 (FAB) (Feb. 2, 2007), addressing issues of significant importance to financial institutions servicing employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The FAB resolves some of the uncertainties created by the PPA and creates a new option for service providers that wish to provide investment advice without fee offsets or reliance on computer models.

The attached memorandum outlines-

  • Pre-PPA common industry approaches to structuring investment advice programs, based on the Department’s advisory opinions and other guidance.
  • The scope, requirements and the issues created by the Exemption.
  • Issues resolved by the FAB.
  • Opportunities created by the FAB.
  • Unresolved issues.

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