September 20, 2020

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September 18, 2020

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September 17, 2020

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DOL Prevails in Tenth Circuit in Another Decision on Fiduciary Rule

On February 17, 2017, a federal district Court in Kansas upheld the U.S. Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule and related exemptions in a suit brought by Market Synergy Group, Inc. This ruling on the merits follows the court’s prior ruling in November 2016 denying Market Synergy Group’s request for a temporary injunction.  The court determined that:  (1) the Department satisfied the Administrative Procedure Act’s requirement of providing fair notice of the proposed rule change; (2) the Department’s decision to treat fixed indexed annuities differently than all other fixed annuities in PTE 84-24 was not arbitrary and capricious; (3) the Department adequately considered the economic impact that the final rule would impose on independent insurance agent distribution channels; and (4) the Department’s issuance of PTE 84-24 does not exceed the agency’s statutory authority.  The case is Mkt. Synergy Grp., Inc. v. United States Dep’t of Labor, No. 16-CV-4083-DDC-KGS, 2016 WL 6948061 (D. Kan. Nov. 28, 2016).

Like the prior rulings, the court’s decision relates only to the Department’s authority to issue the rule.  It does not address the Trump administration’s proposal to delay or change the rule.  A delay proposal is currently being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget, and is expected to be released in the next couple weeks.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 54

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About this Author

Russell L Hirschhorn ERISA Litigation, employee benefits attorney, Proskauer
Senior Counsel

Russell Hirschhorn is a Senior Counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department, where he focuses on complex ERISA litigation and advises employers, fiduciaries and trustees on ERISA benefit and fiduciary issues. 

Russell represents employers, plan sponsors, plans, trustees, directed trustees and fiduciaries in all phases of litigation, arbitration and mediation involving employee benefits, including class action and individual claims relating to ERISA’s fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction provisions, denials of claims for benefits, severance plans, ERISA Section 510,...

212.969.3286
Benjamin Saper, Erisa LItigator, Proskauer Rose Law Firm
Associate

Benjamin Saper is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation Group. He focuses on ERISA litigation.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Ben was a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton. He also was a law clerk to the Honorable Sarah S. Vance in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

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