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Stanley Sterna, JD, and Joseph Wolfe
In April 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released the long-awaited final Fiduciary Rule amending the definition of the term “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The rule includes a conflict-of-interest rule applicable to retirement investment advice, as well as various exceptions and amendments affecting retirement plan transactions. More than 1,000 pages long, the rule contains much to digest for those in the business of providing advice to businesses and individuals regarding benefit plans and benefit plan investments. While there are ongoing efforts to delay its implementation, the Fiduciary Rule is currently due to become effective in April 2017. While at first glance the rule would appear to primarily impact those who recommend and sell investment products to ERISA plan trustees or beneficiaries, there are also broader implications for CPAs.
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