With what Labor Secretary Thomas Perez called a keen ear andhealthy dose of humility, the Department of Labor finalized afiduciary rule after making what he called substantial changes tothe proposed version.

Never a fan of the suitability standard that has guided thebrokerage advisory industry to date, Perez implied the final rulemakes good on his commitment to slow down the rulemaking processand fully consider stakeholders' concerns, a pledge he made tolawmakers during his confirmation hearings.

For Perez and the DOL, the challenge of writing a rule thatwould insist on a fiduciary level of care for advisors to most401(k) plans and all IRA accounts was never about bad people doingbad things,” but rather the heart of the challenge was thatadvisors have been operating in a structurally flawed system.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.