Thrivent Financial for Lutherans filed a sixth lawsuit Thursday against the Department of Labor fiduciary rule.
Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, Thrivent’s 29-page lawsuit claimed the DOL rule will render its dispute resolution mechanism obsolete.
Although five other lawsuits have been filed against the fiduciary rule since June, what makes Thrivent's suit different is that the organization takes no issue with the overall rule. The complaint specifically asks the court to overturn the class-action component.
“Nothing in ERISA gives DOL authority to preclude financial institutions and their clients from entering into and enforcing arbitration agreements that include class action waivers,” Thrivent's complaint reads.
Thrivent’s mechanism prohibits class actions. The controversial DOL rule allows advisory clients to file class-action lawsuits as part of its Best Interest Contract Exemption, which advisors must sign if they want to receive commission-based compensation.
Thrivent – represented by the Washington law firm Cozen O’Connor -- seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction against the class-action provision of the DOL rule.
The new lawsuit is the sixth filed over the fiduciary rule since June. The other lawsuits have been brought mainly by industry groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association for Fixed Annuities, the American Council of Life Insurers, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, and Market Synergy Group.
Three lawsuits were consolidated in Northern District of Texas District Court, with a hearing date of Nov. 17. A NAFA lawsuit was heard in District of Columbia District Court Aug. 25.
Those lawsuits ask the court to throw out the entire rule. Market Synergy’s lawsuit targets the last-minute decision to require fixed indexed annuity sales to adhere to the Best Interest Contract Exemption.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at email@example.com.
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