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The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor & human resources and real estate practice. 


Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group is dedicated to the highest standards of integrity, excellence and thought leadership and is considered to be amongst the nation's most exceptional ERISA and employee benefits law firms. The firm has six offices across the country, providing unparalleled legal advice to its clients, including large, small and nonprofit corporations as well as individuals and government entities worldwide. The Wagner Law Group's 27 attorneys, senior benefits consultant and three paralegals combine many years of experience in their fields of practice with a variety of backgrounds. Seven of the attorneys are AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and six are Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers.  Six of the firm's attorneys have been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list for 2016, which highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process.




Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group


  Integrity | Excellence



Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110


Washington, D.C.

Tel: (202) 969-2800


Fax: (202) 969-2568

 800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

Suite 810

Washington, D.C. 20006


Palm Beach Gardens 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418



Tel: (813) 603-2959

Fax: (813) 603-2961

101 East Kennedy Boulevard

Suite 2140
Tampa, FL  33602 


San Francisco

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

300 Montgomery Street

Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94104


St. Louis

Tel: (314) 236-0065

Fax: (314) 236-5743
100 South 4th Street, Suite 550
St. Louis, MO  63102 







The DOL's New Fiduciary Rule Becomes Applicable on

April 10, 2017


Are you Ready?





Dear Clients and Friends:


The U.S. Department of Labor's new fiduciary "Conflict of Interest Rule" applicability date of April 10, 2017, is fast approaching and the implications of being a fiduciary (whether you have always been one or are going to become one for the first time) are significant. As a fiduciary investment adviser, in order to even begin preparing for the application of the new Conflict of Interest Rule, you need a clear and concrete understanding of:


  • Your client. Is it a Plan subject to Title I of ERISA? Is it an IRA or other qualified retirement vehicle not subject to Title I of ERISA? Is it a Coverdell Education Account or Heath Savings Account?   Is it another type of Retail Investor?
  • Your services. Are you providing discretionary investment management (which is not eligible for Best Interest Contract Exemption ("BICE") relief) or non-discretionary investment advice (which is eligible for BICE relief)?   Have you considered all offerings on both the brokerage and registered investment adviser platform?
  • Your compensation.   Do you receive "level" compensation or "transaction-based" compensation? Have you clearly identified and considered ALL sources of third party payments and internal mark-ups to identify potential sources of variable compensation?
  • Your products. Do you recommend any insurance product or affiliated/proprietary product for investment?


The answers to these questions will guide you and enable an informed decision on what exemptive relief, if any, is needed by April 10, 2017. Are you going to use the Best Interest Contract Exemption, Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24, Prohibited Transaction Exemption 86-128, Level Fee Exemption, Grandfathering, or Transition Exemption, to name a few? Are you going to be on a level fee platform so as not to violate the prohibited transaction rules of ERISA, and not in need of exemptive relief? What about BIC for the Day....does that apply?  




Most financial institutions have determined (sometimes reluctantly) that some action for DOL fiduciary preparedness is necessary in order to be properly poised for the April 10, 2017 applicability date, despite the uncertainty on the long-term status of the new Conflict of Interest Rule.




The Wagner Law Group's staff of nationally recognized attorneys remains at the ready to advise you on these crucial matters. Please do not hesitate to contact us in order to make sure that you are properly prepared for the implementation of the new DOL Conflict of Interest Rule on April 10, 2017.




This Newsletter is protected by copyright. Material appearing herein may be reproduced with appropriate credit.


This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.