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FACC v. DOL Joint Motion for Extension

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiffs and Defendants respectfully request an extension of the deadline for filing objections to the Recommendations up to and including August 14, 2023. In addition, Plaintiffs and Defendants request that the Court order that the responses to any objections filed by either party will be filed on or before September 13, 2023, with any reply briefs to be filed by October 4, 2023.

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Magistrate Judge’s Recommendation in FACC v. DOL

The Court should vacate the portions of PTE 2020-02’s text and preamble that allow consideration of Title II investment advice relationships when determining Title I fiduciary status, including the New Interpretation’s (i) allowance of review that a single rollover “can be the beginning of an ongoing advice relationship” to Title II plans…

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Dear Friend Update 6-20-23

Regarding the DOL submission in our case, we think DOL sidesteps the real issue, which is that the ASA decision knocked out the lynchpin of their New Interpretation in the sense it essentially blocks DOL from applying its guidance on who is a fiduciary in typical rollover situations when rollovers were the very reason for the DOL rulemaking in the first place. We also think it is noteworthy that the ASA decision was rendered four months ago and DOL has yet to formally acknowledge that court’s decision and follow through on the remand for “further proceedings consistent with this Order.”

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Dear Friend Update 6-2-23

As most of you know, the DOL suffered a major setback in the challenge brought by ASA where the court vacated a foundational element of DOL’s new interpretation of the five part test. The court said DOL cannot aggregate rollover advice given to an employer plan participant with subsequent IRA advice for purposes of satisfying the regular basis element of the five part test used to determine fiduciary status. At first the DOL filed an appeal but then withdrew its appeal and now is asking the Magistrate Judge in FACC’s case for more time to address whether the entirety of its new interpretation is rendered unworkable by the ASA decision.

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FACC Files Notice of Supplemental Authority on ASA Case Decision

The ASA Order nullifies one of the challenged FAQs on the ground that the policy referenced therein was not a reasonable interpretation of the text of ERISA or the five-part test. Specifically, the court rejected a key element of the DOL’s New Interpretation, which provides that the regular basis requirement for determining fiduciary status will be satisfied in the case of an Investment Professional’s advice to an ERISA plan member with respect to a rollover transaction based on the provision or anticipated provision of post-rollover advice to the IRA owner.

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Transcript of Oral Arguments

This is a statutory construction case. And as such, we believe there’s a basic principle that can and should guide the Court’s decision in matters of statutory construction as it does in matters — many matters under the law. And that — that principle is: Words have meaning. In this particular case, we have the luxury, not often afforded to litigants, that the Fifth Circuit has given us very clear direction as to the meaning of the statute in question arising out of the last time the Department of Labor sought to redefine who’s a “fiduciary” under ERISA.

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Hispanic Leadership Fund Files Amicus Brief

HLF has a strong interest in this case. The DOL preamble being challenged by the Plaintiffs . . . would resurrect much of the very harmful 2016 Fiduciary Rule in a manner that directly conflicts with the 2018 decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (“Fifth Circuit”) invalidating that rule . . . . If DOL is permitted to flout the court’s mandate, the New Interpretation will have the disastrous effect on individuals saving for retirement—especially Hispanic and Black Americans—that was shown to have occurred by the HLF Fiduciary Study.

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FACC Brief Filed November 7

The DOL’s principal defense of the New Interpretation comes down to little more than the fact that it pays lip service to the opinion in Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. United States Department of Labor, 885 F.3d 360 (5th Cir. 2018). According to the DOL,

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