Benefits & Compensation News

New court ruling on the future of the DOL fiduciary rule

The final overtime rule wasn’t the only controversial DOL rule facing a judge’s injunction, the fiduciary rule was also under fire.

Unlike the OT regs, however, a Kansas federal judge has rejected the request to block the DOL’s fiduciary rule.

Judge Daniel Crabtree handed down a 63-page ruling in response to Market Synergy’s request for a preliminary injunction.

In the ruling, the judge said Market Synergy couldn’t provide proof the DOL failed to follow appropriate procedures under the Administrative Procedures Act and Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 by putting fixed indexed annuities under the DOL rule’s best interest contract exemption (BICE), a major part of the new fiduciary rule.

In reference to the court’s decision, the judge said:

“the court must determine whether plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of its claim that the DOL failed to follow the appropriate procedures in exacting the rule changes. The court concludes … that plaintiff is not likely to succeed on the merits of this claim. And, thus, plaintiff is not entitled to the injunctive relief that it seeks by its motion.”

Second major victory

The ruling here is the second time a judged failed to issue an injunction blocking the fiduciary rule over the merits of its best interest contract exemption.

A prior lawsuit was brought against the DOL’s rule by the National Association for Fixed Annuities. In that case, Judge Randolph Moss issued a 92-page ruling that denied the injunction and upheld the merits of the conflict of interest exempt created by the feds.


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