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style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"; color:#43667D'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:1'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:2;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><a name=LETTER.BLOCK10></a><span style='display:none;mso-hide:all'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=1 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;background:#B2C4D0; border:solid black 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:solid black .75pt;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt;border-image:none' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK10"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:white'>The Wagner Law Group</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#006E6D'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:1'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:2;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>The Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized practice in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor and human resources and&nbsp;&nbsp;investment management.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>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&nbsp;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.&nbsp;Seven of the attorneys are AV rated by <i>Martindale-Hubbell</i> and&nbsp;six are Fellows of the <em><span style='font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>American College of Employee Benefits Counsel</span></em>, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers.&nbsp;&nbsp;Seven of the firm's&nbsp;attorneys have been named to the prestigious <em><span style='font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>Super Lawyers</span></em> list for 2016, which highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process.</span></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#5A879E'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </div> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='display:none;mso-hide:all'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=1 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;background:#F7C76C; border:solid #657782 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:solid #657782 .75pt; mso-yfti-tbllook:1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK18"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow: yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"; color:black'>Click </span></span><a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001llYoRCEzUNZqYjNceaU31GfCo9maiyaibHnarBrw-fGCybHd-UCEZ8zTWh_IMmuTmRtAgdUCk8yFOTOlslWie0tZzsfLYxEsQLJj9CeR2eVEr3OAxt2v8RnSpr5G7q9t1-8TV5cX_wiuL9ssfEJBQjkzyOlflNvuhhuyqkJXQ0CVUC4MSzn2RuWye-AG5h3RKQtEbC3fOgdmAwhsTdG3kMFHrHiXgT1D2y4eMT7gRjgeuVPZZS0vp3Yx2X9EPbAvgzMCCz0skn-xwQsH17-VnlnVH0NVNLAxZe1ZcpFdSIyHygSe3lcBJKBqPKs7xW_6NB-bzWNL84Fq_1ZHq1Rd5g7udaUY9w0TYJxqAvJIDVt6jO5pKj_WXtCXTJNYXZnBKOXJ0BCdt7A=&amp;c=nfc6Z092-HuEpXM4PfPxqysIh-uhUXf4DipKME8ZIk3dfgN_aO1s9g==&amp;ch=gzBPdABGa_CzNO7MuXriewhodgFavqCA-16kIvcQt2IwGFeZW7Kq9Q==" target="_blank" track=on shape=rect linktype=1 alt="http://www.wagnerlawgroup.com/newsletters.html?utm_source=ERISA+Law+Alert+-+Hardship+Distributions+030817&amp;utm_campaign=2%2F21%2F17+Newsletter&amp;utm_medium=email"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";color:black'>here</span></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></a><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"; color:black'> to view all of our ERISA Newsletters and Law Alerts<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><a name=LETTER.BLOCK3></a><span style='display:none;mso-hide:all'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=1 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;background:#B2C4D0; border:solid black 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:solid black .75pt;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt;border-image:none' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK3"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:white'>Contact Info</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:white'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:1'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>The Wagner Law Group</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"; color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;Integrity | Excellence</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Boston&nbsp;</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (617) 357-5200&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (617) 357-5250&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>99 Summer Street&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>13th Floor<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Boston, MA 02110<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Washington, D.C.</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (202) 969-2800<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='text-align:center; margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 3.75pt;'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (202) 969-2568<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Suite 810<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Washington, D.C. 20006<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Palm Beach Gardens</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (561) 293-3590<br> Fax: (561) 293-3591<br> 7108 Fairway Drive<br> Suite 125<br> Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;<strong><span style='font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>&nbsp;</span></strong>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tampa</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (813) 603-2959<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (813) 603-2961<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>101 East Kennedy Boulevard<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Suite 2140<br> Tampa, FL&nbsp; 33602&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>San Francisco</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (415) 625-0002<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (415) 358-8300<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>300 Montgomery Street<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Suite 600<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>San Francisco, CA 94104<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>St. Louis</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (314) 236-0065<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (314) 236-5743<br> 100 South 4th Street, Suite 550<br> St. Louis, MO&nbsp; 63102&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#8595A3'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='text-align:center; margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 3.75pt;'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span><a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001llYoRCEzUNZqYjNceaU31GfCo9maiyaibHnarBrw-fGCybHd-UCEZ7Mx-_0QfbEIIjKmQo4v4_PofrroWzTnA3v2sh8iKXSpTmIoOj9kh1lN5NqGDzjDcNNicjqGm7iTT4kQ-vxUQ0RRAQHWLH3HK6fvioHaxRNJMZ3n324MSmEQ9VywFxyFQNY6Zyf-C-II0Wn_GtMDEfQN9E19J2Vk5Jdcgnl-7b-vxo18dexkYsDc9guogcNtcCxg-iKb4AVexcsc9fNNP_zMvtqVwjfvKvLoHSUq3_WqTQRhQUjroxJfHoz_VgAtMc568vQCT85SaFVMrxyXXEDFfaM1ym4K1d9frHT8QZUOSnl6y6aYG5w=&amp;c=nfc6Z092-HuEpXM4PfPxqysIh-uhUXf4DipKME8ZIk3dfgN_aO1s9g==&amp;ch=gzBPdABGa_CzNO7MuXriewhodgFavqCA-16kIvcQt2IwGFeZW7Kq9Q==" target="_blank" track=on shape=rect linktype=link alt="http://wagnerlawgroup.com/?utm_source=ERISA+Law+Alert+-+Hardship+Distributions+030817&amp;utm_campaign=2%2F21%2F17+Newsletter&amp;utm_medium=email"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>www.wagnerlawgroup.com</span></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></a><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;color:#8595A3'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:2;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> <td width=440 valign=top style='width:330.0pt;background:white; padding:3.75pt 5.25pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes'> <td width="100%" valign=top style='width:100.0%;padding:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;background:#B6BFC9; mso-yfti-tbllook:1184;mso-padding-alt:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow: yes;height:.75pt'> <td style='padding:0in 0in 0in 0in;height:.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='display:none;mso-hide:all'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt;display:table' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK9"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow: yes'> <td style='padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><b><span style='font-size:8.0pt;color:#006E6D'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></b></span></p> </div> <div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><b><span style='font-size:20.0pt;color:#006E6D'>DOL ANNOUNCES 60-DAY DELAY TO FIDUCIARY RULE AND EXEMPTIONS AND MAKES SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO TRANSITION PERIOD COMPLIANCE<o:p></o:p></span></b></span></p> </div> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal align=right style='text-align:right; margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 3.75pt;'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><b><span style='color:#006E6D'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></b></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=right style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:right'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:14.0pt;color:#006D6E'>April&nbsp;4, 2017</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt; color:#006D6E'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='display:none;mso-hide:all'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt;display:table' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK14"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow: yes'> <td style='padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt; color:black'>The U.S. Department of Labor's (&quot;DOL&quot;) proposed 60-day delay to the new fiduciary rule defining investment advice (&quot;Fiduciary Rule&quot;), the Best Interest Contract Exemption (&quot;BICE&quot;), and other related exemptions was finalized today.&nbsp; The final rule codifying the delay will appear in the Federal Register on Friday, April 7, 2017 and take effect on Monday, April 10, 2017.&nbsp; This completes the delay process initiated by the February 3, 2017, Presidential Memorandum directing the DOL to study the impact of the Fiduciary Rule and the related exemptions.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt; color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt; color:black'>The final rule is not a simple 60-day delay across the board.&nbsp; Rather, it significantly reduces the compliance burden of the Fiduciary Rule and the related exemptions during the transition period between the applicability date (formerly, April 10, now June 9, 2017) and January 1, 2018.&nbsp; As set out by the DOL, the final rule has the following components:<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <div> <ul type=disc style="margin-bottom: 0"> <li class=MsoNormal style='color:black;mso-margin-top-alt:auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;mso-list:l1 level1 lfo1;tab-stops: list .5in'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt'>The &quot;applicability date&quot; of the Fiduciary Rule is extended for 60 days, from April 10 to June 9, 2017;<o:p></o:p></span></span></li> </ul> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <ul type=disc style="margin-top: 0;"> <li class=MsoNormal style='color:black;mso-margin-top-alt:auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;mso-list:l4 level1 lfo2;tab-stops: list .5in'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt'>The applicability date of all of the new and amended exemptions is extended for 60 days, from April 10 to June 9, 2017;<o:p></o:p></span></span></li> </ul> <ul type=disc> <li class=MsoNormal style='color:black;mso-margin-top-alt:auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo3;tab-stops: list .5in'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt'>From June 9, 2017 to January 1, 2018, anyone wishing to use the BICE, the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions or Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24, need only comply with the Impartial Conduct Standards (best interest standard of care, reasonable compensation and not making any materially misleading statements).&nbsp; Compliance with all other conditions of these exemptions, including written disclosures and representations, are waived until January 1, 2018;<o:p></o:p></span></span></li> </ul> <ul type=disc> <li class=MsoNormal style='color:black;mso-margin-top-alt:auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;mso-list:l3 level1 lfo4;tab-stops: list .5in'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt'>Changes to other preexisting class exemptions amended by the DOL in connection with the Fiduciary Rule (Prohibited Transaction Exemptions 75-1, 77-4, 80-83, 83-1, and 86-128) are applicable and in full effect on June 9, 2017; and<o:p></o:p></span></span></li> </ul> <ul type=disc> <li class=MsoNormal style='color:black;mso-margin-top-alt:auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;mso-list:l2 level1 lfo5;tab-stops: list .5in'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt'>The DOL will complete the mandated study of the Fiduciary Rule and the related exemptions and announce what actions, if any, will be taken as a result of the study, not later than (and hopefully well in advance of) January 1, 2018.<o:p></o:p></span></span></li> </ul> <p style="margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-bottom: 0"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt;color:black'>In sum, the DOL's approach incorporates a 60-day delay of the applicability date of the Fiduciary Rule and related exemptions and a significant reduction in compliance burdens during the new transition period, <u>i.e.</u>, the period from the June 9, 2017 applicability date to January 1, 2018, when the presumably amended BICE, the Exemption for Principal Transactions, and Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 will be in full effect.&nbsp; This approach essentially eliminates the need for transition agreements, disclosures, and certain structural changes (such as the appointment of a BICE officer) that were formerly required to be in place on the applicability date.&nbsp; This should provide significant relief and appears to be an attempt to respond to widespread concerns about potential client confusion.&nbsp; The DOL stated that making the Impartial Conduct Standards effective on June 9, 2017, provides significant protection to retirement plans and retirement investors.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-bottom: 0"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt;color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-bottom: 0"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt;color:black'>The DOL said it would continue to accept comments regarding the issues raised in the Presidential Memorandum.&nbsp; We are continuing to study the final rule announcing the delay.&nbsp; Please contact us with any questions you may have.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:1;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td width="100%" valign=top style='width:100.0%;padding:0in 0in 0in 0in'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:0in 0in 0in 0in' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK8"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td width="100%" style='width:100.0%;background:#2D3E46;padding:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td style='padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <p style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt'><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"; color:#4E6A78'>This Newsletter is protected by copyright. Material appearing herein may be reproduced with appropriate credit.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt'><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"; color:#4E6A78'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt'><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"; color:#4E6A78'>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.&nbsp; This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. 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