A set of reforms was proposed back in 2010, but it was quickly withdrawn in 2011 after fierce protest from the financial industry regarding regulatory costs, liability costs and client concerns.
Five years later, the financial industry was put on notice in 2015 that the landscape was going to change. A major overhaul was proposed by President Obama on February 23, 2015. “Today, I’m calling on the Department of Labor to update the rules and requirements that retirement advisors put the best interests of their clients above their own financial interests,” the president said. “It’s a very simple principle: You want to give financial advice, you’ve got to put your client’s interests first.”
The DOL proposed its new regulations on April 14. This time around, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the rule in record time, while President Obama endorsed and fast-tracked its implementation; the final rulings were issued on April 6, 2016. Before finalizing the ruling, the Labor Department held four days of public hearings. While the final version was being hammered out, the legislation was known as the fiduciary standard.