July 20, 2020

Brad Campbell Comments on Hearing Request for DOL’s Recent Investment Advice Proposal

InvestmentNews

InvestmentNews reports that Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, asked the Department of Labor (DOL) to hold a hearing on a proposal to reform advice standards for retirement accounts.

The measure would replace the Obama administration fiduciary rule that was vacated by a federal appeals court in 2018. It also would align with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recently enacted Regulation Best Interest, which sets new advice requirements for brokers. Murray’s call for a hearing follows letters from lawmakers and investor advocates asking for an extension of the comment period on the measure from 30 to 90 days.

InvestmentNews turned to Benefits & Executive Compensation partner Brad Campbell for insight on the DOL’s hearing process, and whether he believes one will be granted.

Campbell, who served as the Employee Benefits Security Administration head in the George W. Bush administration, told the publication that the DOL is not obligated to hold a hearing on an exemption proposal if it believes written materials are sufficient.

He added that Murray’s request “does not appear … to conform” to regulatory request requirements but that others likely will ask for a hearing and receive one.

“Historically, DOL has granted hearings on class exemptions,” said Campbell. “I think they’re likely to do a hearing, and it’s not likely to cause a significant delay.”

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