Displaying items by tag: ira
The SEC issued a pretty stern warning (or reminder, depending on how you look at it) to brokers this week. SEC chairman Jay Clayton issued a very direct statement addressing broker-dealers and saying that they needed to take “special care” when making 401(k)/IRA rollovers because form CRS, as part of Reg BI, would cover such transactions. Clayton also emphasized that 401(k)/IRA rollovers are considered a primary feature of the rule, saying that it was one of the “most significant enhancements over the status quo … should be approached with care”. He concluded “Firms should recognize that these recommendations are subject to Reg BI and ensure that their policies and procedures meet the requirements of Reg BI, the Advisers Act and Form CRS, as appropriate”.
FINSUM: Just in case anyone wasn’t clear, the SEC just made it abundantly obvious that there is no wiggle room here. The most interesting thing to us in this statement is how he seemed to indicate this will be the key focus of the SEC (which will likely be reflected in enforcement).
While the actual language of the new DOL Fiduciary Rule has not been released to the public yet, its contents are growing more and more clear. According to numerous industry insiders, it looks overwhelmingly likely that the new DOL rule will not even attempt to touch the $10 tn pool of IRA assets and will instead leave those under the oversight of the IRS—which is exactly what the industry wants to happens. That means the DOL is only going after 401(k) assets, which at $9 tn, constitute a little under half of the total pool of assets the DOL could have tried to stake its claim on.
FINSUM: This is good news for those worried the new rule would govern IRA assets as well. Another interesting sign from the DOL came last week—the department announced it would now allow 401(k) assets to be invested in private equity deals.
Even advisors who use fixed index annuities frequently may not be aware that under the new SECURE Act, the products have gotten some preferential new tax treatment. In particular, clients can now rollover 401ks, 401bs, IRA, or pension payment into a fixed index annuity tax-free. This obviously comes in addition to the fact that FIAs are tax deferred to begin with.
FINSUM: This seems like a very useful addition to the FIA universe provided by the Secure Act. Advisors should be aware.
Brokers around the country had a very positive reaction to the new version of the SEC’s Best Interest Rule which was approved last week. One of the reasons why, other than the generally light-touch direction of the regulation, is that the new rule seems to suggest that a broker can always be confident in putting money into an IRA when considering a rollover. However, the SEC has just warned brokers against this quick conclusion, saying they cannot short-circuit their analysis.
FINSUM: The way the new rule was structured seemed almost too good to be true for advisors as it appeared to heavily favor rollovers into IRAs. More analysis of the rule will be forthcoming over the next week.