By Nick ThorntonBenefitsPro – April 19, 2018

Fiduciary Duty written on piece of paperThe Securities and Exchange Commission voted to release a three-pronged proposed rule for public comment that could change the standard of conduct broker-dealers and annuity sellers owe retail investors; that would require new client disclosures for all investment providers; and that might reinterpret the requirements of fiduciary advice. The public will have 90 days to comment after the proposal is published in the Federal Register this week.

The SEC’s actions are similar to but separate from the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule; while the SEC commissioners did not directly mention the failed Department of Labor fiduciary rulemaking effort – which would have gone even further to tamp down on investment industry conflicts of interest than the emerging SEC proposal – they did speak about the importance of alleviating investor confusion about the differences between “advisers” and “brokers,” and about who is a fiduciary in what circumstances.

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