Timeline of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule (Rules 1.0 – 3.0)

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The U.S. Department of Labor has been on a singular mission for well over a decade to extend ERISA fiduciary duty status on financial professionals — including insurance producers — when making product recommendations and investment advice to retirement plans, plan participants, and IRA owners.

  • Rule 1.0: DOL first proposed a rule in 2010 but withdrew it a year later in the face of widespread opposition from members of Congress, industry and other interested parties.
  • Rule 2.0: In April 2015, the Obama-era DOL released an updated proposal, upending the 1975 five-part test defining fiduciary investment advice and creating a new best interest contract exemption (BICE) that contained a host of unworkable conditions and requirements. Fiduciary Rule 2.0 was finalized in April 2016 but was ultimately vacated in its entirety by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in March 2018.
  • Rule 3.0: Two years later, the DOL under the Trump administration finalized a new prohibited transaction exemption, PTE 2020-02 which reinterpreted the prongs of the five-part test to effectively sweep in most all retirement advice or product recommendations as fiduciary in nature, including rollover advice, and, thus, requiring the use of a prohibited transaction exemption in order to receive compensation for that guidance. PTE 2020-02 was finalized in February 2021 and made effective in February 2022.
  • Rule 4.0: Last fall, the DOL proposed yet another new fiduciary rule package, again redefining who is an investment advice fiduciary and amending existing PTEs, including both PTE 2020-02 and PTE 84-24. Access NAFA content and links to resources on Rule 4.0 here.

View detailed information about Rules 1.0 – 3.0, NAFA and industry responses, litigation, and other critical timeline updates below.

Fiduciary Rule 3.0

Post-Issuance of Fiduciary Rule 2.0

Pre-Issuance of Fiduciary Rule 2.0

Fiduciary Rule 2.0

Prior to Issuance of Proposal

Fiduciary Rule 1.0