Are annuities provided an exemption from the new DOL Fiduciary Rule similar to what they previously had?
When the new Fiduciary Rule goes into full effect in April 2017, if the incoming President and unified Congress do not block its implementation, all annuities (fixed, variable and indexed) will be governed by the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE), not just variable annuities as many in the industry originally thought.
Since 1977, all annuities have been regulated by the ERISA exemption PTE 84-24, which allows insurance agents, brokers and other non-registered advisor financial personnel to sell those assets while not being bound by the multiple-level definition for a fiduciary. The exemption did require a “best interest standard” for all IRA recommendations but does not require any client signatures or contract like the BICE. Along with fewer disclosures, the exemption allows non-registered personnel to follow the suitability standard.
For more on the Fiduciary Rule’s impact of annuities, see our new article coming this Thursday.