A new court decision could give the Administration an opportunity to completely withdraw the regulations expanding ERISA’s definition of fiduciary and limit the ability to expand the scope of ERISA’s fiduciary protections in the future.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued an opinion striking down the DOL’s new fiduciary rule. The decision will add more (unwelcome) uncertainty.
On March 15 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down the DOL’s new fiduciary rule. The decision, in very sweeping terms, concluded that the DOL did not have the regulatory authority to expand the previous definition of “fiduciary” contained in 1975 regulations. The breadth of the Court’s ruling, if upheld, makes it virtually impossible for the DOL to somehow modify the fiduciary proposal or to issue new fiduciary rules.