The Department of Labor wants to "understand with granularity" what the "nature of the problem is and what the nature of various stakeholders' concerns are" regarding its efforts to draft a new fiduciary standard, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said this week.

Speaking to reporters after his speech at the National Press Club in Washington on Monday, Perez said the DOL continues to "reach out to stakeholders" regarding the redraft of its rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

When asked whether the DOL still plans to release in January the redraft of its controversial rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under ERISA, Perez declined to answer specifically, referring only to the January redraft release date as cited in DOL's regulatory agenda.

DOL had announced in late May that it would further delay release of the fiduciary redraft from August to January.  

The redraft, Perez said, is "on our regulatory agenda and we continue to reach out and listen to various stakeholders … and we continue to learn a lot from them," Perez told reporters Monday.

At the press club to deliver a speech, "An Economy That Works for Everyone: The Labor Secretary's Perspective," Perez dodged addressing the public assertions that he was among the candidates to replace Attorney General Eric Holder, who resigned in late September.

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Melanie Waddell

Melanie is senior editor and Washington bureau chief of ThinkAdvisor. Her ThinkAdvisor coverage zeros in on how politics, policy, legislation and regulations affect the investment advisory space. Melanie’s coverage has been cited in various lawmakers’ reports, letters and bills, and in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule in 2023. In 2019, Melanie received an Honorable Mention, Range of Work by a Single Author award from @Folio. Melanie joined Investment Advisor magazine as New York bureau chief in 2000. She has been a columnist since 2002. She started her career in Washington in 1994, covering financial issues at American Banker. Since 1997, Melanie has been covering investment-related issues, holding senior editorial positions at American Banker publications in both Washington and New York. Briefly, she was content chief for Internet Capital Group’s EFinancialWorld in New York and wrote freelance articles for Institutional Investor. Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Towson University. She interned at The Baltimore Sun and its suburban edition.