What a Trump Presidency Means for the DOL Fiduciary Rule

While the recent election’s presidential decision sent political shock waves, one of the biggest questions in the aftermath is: What does this now mean to the DOL fiduciary rule?

As most of you know, CreativeOne is deep into planning and preparation to comply with the DOL fiduciary rule for qualified funds and its impact on registered representatives and broker-dealers (including our own), Investment Advisors and RIAs (including our own), insurance agents and our insurance companies.

April 10, 2017, is the fast-approaching compliance date and our plans, expenses and personnel to aid each of these constituents in complying with the Best Interests Contract Exemption (BICE) and the new PTE 84-24 are well underway. A fiduciary responsibility, best-interest advice, disclosures of conflicts, product features and fees, reasonable compensation and record retention are mountainous undertakings for all of us. We remain committed to finding the best ways to aiding you in complying while still focusing on our core strategy of being your Agency Development Organization (ADO) to maximize the success of your business of providing solutions to Americans’ financial needs.

This past week’s U.S. presidential election results seemed to surprise most everyone. While a Republican president and Congress would seem to be a favorable result for those of us who believed transforming most of our industry of agents and financial institutions into “trust officers” was a philosophical and practical mistake with deleterious, choice-depriving effects on consumers, it is not yet clear what the effects will be.

President-elect Trump did not reference the DOL fiduciary rule specifically during the campaign, though previously one of his campaign’s financial advisors wrote an article recommending rollback of the rule. In general, Trump has expressed a desire to undo unnecessary regulation.

So where does that leave us? There are still many avenues, and we understand that uncertainty can be disabling, but most of us cannot afford to sit and wait. Trump may appoint a DOL head who will extend the implementation date, which was exceedingly aggressive. Congress may defund DOL efforts through an omnibus funding bill to implement the rule, however it would still go into effect. Congress may pass legislation like the Wagner bill to send the rule back to DOL, for review or suspension. Court cases may go against the DOL, with an accompanying extension of implementation.

CreativeOne is not waiting, nor are many broker-dealers and insurance companies. Many feel a better-documented client’s best interest standard will emerge regardless of the rise or fall of DOL’s faulty attempt at creating a “safe space” for U.S. savers. One solution we have is ChangePath, a turnkey asset management platform. It’s an unparalleled tool to help advisors/agents present a best-interest financial plan with fixed indexed annuities as an asset class, along with consolidated client reporting and record keeping. Our plan is drafted and going to implementation for helping an agent or advisor in any situation comply with the rule, including agents for whom there is no natural Financial Institution. We have a guaranteed route. A question for other marketing organizations is: Can they 100-percent guarantee a solution?

You can rest assured CreativeOne will remain at the forefront of, as well as contribute to, all regulation, legislation and product manufacturer developments as events unfold, just as we have done for the past 30 years. For all of us, waiting and hoping the DOL rule is unwound by April 10 is not an option; the time for action is now. For that reason, CreativeOne will continue with completing its DOL Readiness Plan to serve you—our customer. Should we receive a favorable rollback of the rule by executive, legislative or judicial action, we will adapt our plans accordingly. But for now, know CreativeOne has your DOL “back” no matter what happens.


CP-0829 – 2016/11/11


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