DOL Fiduciary Impartial Conduct Standards Rule Is in Effect

The Department of Labor (DOL) delayed some of the Fiduciary Rule requirements due for implementation on January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019.

The three exemptions that have been extended to July 1, 2019 are as follows:

  • Best Interest Contract (BIC) Exemption (PTE 2016-01)

  • Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs (PTE 2016-02)

  • Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 for Certain Transactions Involving Insurance Agents and Brokers, Pension Consultants, Insurance Companies, and Investment Company Principal Underwriters (PTE 84-24)


The Impartial Conduct Standards were applicable on June 9, 2017 and remain in effect until July 1, 2019 and probably thereafter. Advisors must comply with the Impartial Conduct Standards, which are:

  • the best standard of care,

  • no more than reasonable compensation and

  • no materially misleading statements.


The burden of proving compliance with the Impartial Conduct Standards is on the advisor and the advisor’s supervisory financial institution and therefore compliance must be documented.

What is the Fiduciary Rule all about?
The rule specifies that, as of June 9, 2017, advisors who are paid to make recommendations and provide investment advice about individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and retirement plans will be treated as "fiduciaries" and must adhere to a fiduciary standard.
What does "fiduciary" mean?
When an advisor is a "fiduciary", any advice or recommendation given must be in the best interest of the client and must not create a conflict of interest for the advisor. We have decades of experience serving in the role of fiduciary for our clients and we are familiar and comfortable in that role.
What constitutes investment advice or a recommendation?
There are three types of advice or recommendations that carry fiduciary responsibility.
  1. A recommendation to buy, hold or sell an asset like a stock or mutual fund within a retirement account.
  2. A recommendation to move, transfer or rollover retirement accounts or the assets within the retirement accounts.
  3. A recommendation about the management of a retirement account.
Will this impact my relationship with First Citizens?
For over 100 years, our customers have and always will come first. We consider Fiduciary Rule to be the next step in our commitment to our clients. It’s an affirmation of who we are and how we conduct business. Our values and principles are summed up in our brand tag line, "Forever First".
Will this change how I work with First Citizens?
It could mean that you have the opportunity to work with another one of our team members depending on your particular need. Our goal at First Citizens is to provide you with the right tools and resources to help you meet your financial and retirement goals. The Fiduciary Rule does not impact what matters most — helping you realize your financial goals.