“There is a ton of work that needs to be done and some need for consideration if an extension may be needed or appropriate. We are exploring that right now. We haven’t made the decision. We are still in the fact-gathering stage," said Jason Berkowitz, chief legal and regulatory affairs officer of IRI, which represents both insurers and broker-dealers who offer annuities. 

Reish said the DOL could extend that non-enforcement policy without going through the regulatory process. “That is, at least conceptually, the more likely action. But even that is 50-50 at best,” he said.

“Some of the exemptions are burdensome and they even apply when an advisor recommends that an investor roll over one IRA into another,” said Reish.

The trade groups are also in conversation with the DOL to see if any of its planned interpretations or proposals may ease some member concerns. The agency said in its regulatory agenda in July that it plans to revisit the fiduciary rule and issue new proposals in December, although whether or not that happens in time to give firms relief is still up in the air, sources said. 

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