A central provision of the Department of Labor's new conflict-of-interest proposal would replace how the Employee Retirement Income Security Act defines "fiduciary" for plan advisors with stricter language.

Shortly after the landmark 1975 law passed, regulators created a five-part test to determine whether the advice of an outside plan consultant constitutes fiduciary services.

That test is now outdated, according to the DOL's proposal, and in need of updating to better reflect ERISA's original purpose, and better protect "plans, participants, beneficiaries and IRA owners from conflicts of interest, imprudence and disloyalty."

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.