When the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration re-proposes its fiduciary rules, it must take into account their effect on broker/dealers, plan sponsors, record keepers and plan auditors, says Jeleen Guttenberg, a partner in the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani's Employee Benefits, ERISA, and Executive Compensation group.

These groups have never had fiduciary status, but if they did, it would change the whole way people do business, Guttenberg cautions.

After the new rules were proposed in October 2010, more than 250 industry representatives sent letters or gave testimony at hearings to say that the rules were too strict. After much discussion, the Department decided to withdraw its proposal, saying it would come out with a new one in 2012.

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