News Release

US Department of Labor confirms investment advice exemption

Includes important retirement investor protections; additional guidance forthcoming

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has confirmed that “Improving Investment Advice for Worker & Retirees,” an exemption for investment advice fiduciaries, will go into effect as scheduled on Feb. 16, 2021. In the coming days, the agency will publish related guidance for retirement investors, employee benefit plans and investment advice providers.

“This exemption allows for important investor protections, including a stringent ‘best interest’ standard of care for fiduciary recommendations of rollovers from ERISA-protected retirement accounts,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration Ali Khawar. “We recognize that investment advice providers have been preparing for the exemption, and this step will allow them to implement important system changes. That said, we will continue our stakeholder outreach to determine how we might improve this exemption, the rule defining who is an investment advice fiduciary, and related exemptions to build on this approach.”

The temporary enforcement policy stated in Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-02 will remain in place until Dec. 20, 2021. Learn more about EBSA and the benefits laws it enforces.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
February 12, 2021
Release Number
Media Contact: Grant Vaught
Media Contact: Michael Trupo
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