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February13, 2017

Timing is Everything

Late in the day on Thursday, February 9th, Reuters reported that the Labor Department’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) sent two documents related to the Fiduciary Rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval.


While details of the documents won’t be revealed until OMB approves the notice and publishes them in the Federal Register, it has been reported that one of the documents would seek to delay the rule's implementation (many speculate that it will be a six-month delay), following a short comment period of about two weeks; the other would open the rule for broader public comment.


It is important to note that OMB reviews generally take from 10 to 14 days to complete.  After the OMB approves the proposal, the DOL will send the notice to the Federal Register for publication – generally within a day.  This timing would produce a publication in the Federal Register sometime between February 24th and March 3rd.


After the notice of delay is published in the Federal Register, the actual delay would not be official until the comment period had expired – which would be estimated to be on or around between March 17th and March 24th.


Based on the timing outlined above, the likely scenarios for achieving a delay only allow for a buffer of two to three weeks before the April 10 applicability date.  Time is of the essence for those advocating a delay.


Of course, advocates of the Fiduciary Rule are reported to already be drafting their legal challenges to avoid any delay.


We hope that these summary updates are helpful.  We will continue to provide updates when relevant as this issue progresses.



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