Last week, the Department of Labor came out with its long-awaited fiduciary rule for retirement advice, seeking to ensure, among other things, that any person who gets paid to provide investment advice to a plan sponsor, plan participant or an IRA owner making an investment decision must put the best interest of their clients first and sign an agreement to that effect.

Speaking to Insurance News Net, Fred said that the definition of fiduciary is broader than the 2011 version of the regulation, meaning that more advisors will be fiduciaries. He added that the best interest contract exemption “is the key” to the proposed rule.

Some commentators believe that the agency’s proposal may represent the first step in a harmonized fiduciary standard between the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, speaking to Wealth Management, Fred cautioned that while the SEC and DOL are coordinating, they can only go so far in harmonization. “Each agency has to write regulations consistent with the governing statutes, and the statutes take different approaches,” he said.

Fred was also quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle in an article titled, “Proposed rule would lead to better advice on retirement accounts,” and in Time in an article titled, “How to Make Sure Your Retirement Adviser Is On Your Team.”