As expected, the federal government opted not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to save the Obama-era Department of Labor fiduciary rule.
The deadline to appeal the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' March 15 ruling tossing out the DOL rule came and went Wednesday with nothing filed.
The decision to let the rule lapse surprised no one as President Donald J. Trump opposed the rule from day one of his tenure.
One final step remains: the Fifth Circuit must issue a mandate officially killing the fiduciary rule. The document is considered a formality, but until it is issued, the rule remains in effect. However, the DOL issued guidance indicating that it will not pursue enforcement of the regulation as long as advisors are making good faith efforts to comply.
At least one plaintiff is getting antsy waiting for the mandate.
Fifth Circuit Judge Edith H. Jones wrote in the majority opinion that the DOL rule "fails the reasonableness test" of the Administrative Procedures Act by extending the department's ERISA authority to one-time IRA rollovers and similar transactions.
The decision went on to admonish the DOL for exceeding its authority and re-affirmed the role of Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission in regulating agents and advisors.
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 protected].
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