The National Association for Fixed Annuities’ (NAFA) attempt to challenge
the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new fiduciary rule for retirement
advice was denied by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Friday, November 4.
This ruling was the first court decision over a legal challenge to this
rule, in which NAFA asked the court to both delay the date the rule would
be implemented as well as vacate and set aside the new rule.
In a memorandum opinion, United States district judge Randolph Moss wrote:
“The court will deny NAFA's motions for a preliminary injunction
and for summary judgment and will grant the [Labor] Department's cross-motion
for summary judgment.”
NAFA attempted to challenge the new rules by arguing that it would have
negative consequences for the fixed indexed annuities industry, that the
DOL overstepped its bounds, and that the industry could almost definitely
not meet the April 2017 deadline.
Counter to the points that NAFA raised, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez
released a statement on Saturday, November 5 and stated that:
“[The ruling is] a win for working Americans who simply want a secure
retirement… The conflicts of interest rule was developed after
substantial input from a variety of stakeholders, including the industry,
and it will make sure that retirement savers receive advice that puts
their interests first. I'm pleased that the court recognized the comprehensive
and thoughtful process we used in crafting this rule.”
While the new rule still faces down opposition from five impending lawsuits
as well as an appeal of this first decision, Perez and other supporters of the bill maintain an optimistic outlook
for its future.