Fred commented that the guidance provides clarity on issues that some in the private sector have struggled with, while also providing one significant disappointment. He referenced Question 4, which confirmed that explaining the need to take required minimum distributions was not fiduciary advice, but that if a recommendation about how to invest those required distributions was made before the distribution, it was fiduciary advice.
“That means that if the recommendation is made after the money is in the individual’s personal account, it is not fiduciary advice,” Fred said. “I disagree with that conclusion. I believe that, since the distribution is required, any advice would be about how to invest personal money and that, therefore, it should not be fiduciary investment advice.”
Barron’s also cited Fred’s commentary in ThinkAdvisor in an article titled, “More Fiduciary FAQ for Advisors.”
Josh commented on the FAQ released specifically for investors and workers, noting that the DOL’s intentions “appear to be not just limited to educating investors about the fiduciary rule generally, but also to address some very specific misunderstandings, and to influence public perceptions” about the rule.” Josh also noted that some statements in the FAQ are likely to be considered “overreaching.”
Read “DOL Quickly Releases Another Batch of Fiduciary FAQs” [ThinkAdvisor].
Read "More Fiduciary FAQ for Advisors" [Barron's].