Home Money Obama-Era Investor Protection Rule Is Dead

Obama-Era Investor Protection Rule Is Dead

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Retirement investors, you’re back on your own.

Just a year after it took partial effect, the so-called fiduciary rule — a requirement that financial professionals put their customers’ interests ahead of their own with retirement accounts — has effectively died.

On Thursday, a federal appeals court dealt a final blow to the rule, legal experts said. The court made effective its decision in March voiding the Obama era rule. That decision said the Department of Labor, which oversees retirement accounts, overstepped its authority. The department did not try to defend the rule after the appeals court’s initial decision, experts said, and it let a deadline pass to petition the Supreme Court to hear the case.

“This is a terrible day for retirement savers,” said Micah Hauptman, financial services counsel to the Consumer Federation of America.

The rule, drafted over six years by the Labor Department, was strongly challenged by the financial services and insurance industries even as it was being written. The industries argued that the rule would make it too costly to work with smaller investors. The rule’s future was initially called into question shortly after President Trump took office. Then, last November, the Labor Department pushed back the full application of the rule by 18 months, to July 2019.

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