In a decision that took many observers by surprise, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Texas, vacated in full the Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial fiduciary duty rule on March 15, 2018. The Court determined that DOL exceeded its statutory authority, among other concerns. As of this writing, the future of the rule and potential federal efforts to defend it are unclear.
The SEC currently is working on its own fiduciary standard, an effort that is supported by many opponents of the DOL rule but that many DOL supporters believe will be inadequate to protect consumers.
Plaintiffs in the 5th Circuit Court case included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Financial Services Institute, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).