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Reg BI and Retirement

A mandate for some; for others, a hint of things to come.

Reg BI and Retirement

The compliance date for SEC’s new Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) and Customer Relationship Summary (Form CRS) is fast approaching, with profound ramifications for advisors and broker-dealers. Specialists in retirement instruments must take heed. While Reg BI focuses on standard of care for brokerage accounts, including IRAs, new regulations in the works by the DOL may include 401(k)s as well.

First order of business: Form CRS

The SEC mandates creation, dissemination and reporting via a form that’s “designed to promote effective communication between you and retail investors.”[1]  Brief, concise, in plain English…this Form CRS must appear simple and straightforward.

However, when firms start to look at the data requirements, workflows and business cases for issuing, updating, archiving and reporting, they quickly realize that executing this disclosure is neither simple nor straightforward.

Not just a one-and-done

Form CRS must document firms’ standard of care, conflicts and commitment to Reg BI compliance. Much of the best-interest work may have been done in anticipation of the prior, now defunct, DOL fiduciary rule. However, many Form CRS requirements are different. There’s much more work to be done.

For example, anyone who has an IRA, is opening one or rolling one over must receive a Form CRS. When the DOL adopts new rules, expected sometime in 2020, 401(k) disclosures may be required as well.

Form CRS must be:

  • Issued to communicate changes to the form (within 60 days) and when certain customer-initiated events occur
  • Delivered upon customer request (within 30 days)
  • Posted on the firm’s public website
  • Stored for quick access/auditability
  • Issued when a recommendation is proffered – even if a prospect hasn’t yet become a customer

Form CRS will need to be issued asynchronously and on demand, in print and digital formats, and via advisor and customer portals.  Unlike fund statutory prospectuses, an annual Form CRS update is not required to be sent to retail customers – Form CRS updates are only required when a material change(s) occurs.

Form CRS requirements

Form CRS requirements

No one manages more regulatory communications than Broadridge – and many firms are already asking Broadridge how best to address Form CRS and Reg BI challenges. From data mapping and integration to technical implementation, disclosure creation and distribution to reporting and surveillance…end-to-end, we’re helping craft efficient approaches that keep disruption to a minimum.

Technologies for compliance

The Broadridge Reg BI solution includes four main components, enabling clients with end-to-end or a la carte capabilities.

Broadridge Consulting Services offers a unique industry vantage point and hands-on operational expertise for solving Reg BI and Form CRS. Our team of experts helps firms understand what the industry is doing and tailors recommendations to firm-specific needs. By providing more than insight, Broadridge helps firms execute – from gap analysis, benchmarking and end-to-end strategy and transformation, to enterprise system integration and implementation, to management through change.

Broadridge Form CRS Hub includes a web portal and integrated solution for document distribution and tracking. Mobile-ready and user-friendly, its robust capabilities provide advisors with hands-on ability to address each step from form creation through reporting. APIs ease integration with customer portals, mobile apps and websites and with data and tools for batch distribution.

Broadridge Digital and Print Communications makes it simple to connect to customers across print and a range of digital channels. It’s scalable, integrates seamlessly with our Form CRS Hub and provides the tools to transform regulatory communications into interactive, engaging, branded experiences. With built-in workflows, archiving and analytics it adds efficiencies, boosts effectiveness and eases compliance.

Our Fund Suitability Analysis Tool is a modular solution that helps firms comply with Best Interest obligations, from getting the right data to streamlining portfolio comparisons. With analyses for share-class and fund-to-fund comparisons, it provides an efficient tool for ensuring suitability of transactions, in alignment with Reg BI’s new obligations.

Reg BI and DOL: Are you prepared?

Form CRS must be filed with the SEC by June 30, 2020 and the initial mass distribution to retail customers must be within 30 days of the filing date. A new DOL rule is expected in 2020.  We can’t know precisely what the DOL has planned – but DOL Assistant Secretary Preston Rutledge has stated that the DOL’s goal is to “align, build up, and harmonize with [the SEC’s agenda].”[2] Firms that take Best Interest next steps now are more likely to be ready for what comes next.

Learn more

To keep apprised of the many requirements underlying Reg BI and the upcoming DOL rule, contact me at or Jean Reilly, Vice President, Practice Lead of Consulting Services at

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