The Fiduciary Rule: What You Need To Know As We “Go Live”

It’s finally here.

Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta recently confirmed that the long-awaited fiduciary rule will go live on June 9th. The gist of the rule is more transparency in the industry: financial advisors providing advice on retirement accounts must act in the “best interest” of their clients.

That said, uncertainty about the rule’s future remains. Horizon’s Greg Valliere points out, “Resistance is futile, but while some changes to the fiduciary rule are possible, it’s a given that it will prevail largely intact.” In fact, he says, “lobbyists are already focusing on a new issue: whether the Securities and Exchange Commission will issue regulations promoting uniform fiduciary standards.”

Here are the most important things to keep in mind as the rule goes into effect:

  • Parts of the rule are still under review, as encouraged by the Trump administration, and there are continued questions about whether the rule will ever be implemented fully. Trump’s agenda has taken aim at many regulations, including the fiduciary rule, causing some in the financial services industry to predict the rule will never fully go into effect.
  • Compliance with the rule will come in stages, with initial applicability on June 9, 2017, while more onerous parts of the rule (e.g., the best interest contract exemption) while require compliance on January 1, 2018.
  • The DOL has indicated that it looks to firms to adopt their own compliance measures initially, as enforcement of the rule will not begin until 2018. Accordingly, the next few months will continue to bring news of changes in firms’ advice, product and share class offerings, and to financial advisor compensation arrangements.

Not surprisingly, reaction to the news about the fiduciary rule’s implementation has been mixed:

  • The Chamber of Commerce argues the rule will hurt small investors by cutting off their access to investment advice and limiting their investment product choices. Others (including 401(k) plan providers and financial advisors) cast doubt on the COC’s conclusions, pointing out that the rule is expected to help plan sponsors reduce their fiduciary liability and lower their plan expenses.

With these new regulations, there will be challenges to traditional ways of providing financial advice to clients. For advisors who have traditionally relied on annuities or other retirement income strategies that will be difficult or even impossible to use in the new normal of the fiduciary rule, it’s a great time to learn about Real Spend®, Horizon’s retirement income strategy designed to provide income and growth in a liquid and cost-effective way.

To Learn more now about Real Spend® or about Horizon’s other strategies and how they are designed to meet modern challenges in life, contact us Today at 866.371.2399 EXT.202 or


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