The AICPA Forensic and Valuation Services Executive Committee (FVSEC) recently sent the DOL a comment letter opposing the Department’s proposal to change the definition of the term “fiduciary.” According to the FVSEC, “we believe the DOL should not change the definition of fiduciary, rather we believe the DOL should implement rules to ensure only qualified individuals prepare valuations for benefit plans and that individuals follow recognized valuation standards. Our reasons for concern are detailed below:
- Incompatible with the Internal Revenue Service’s requirements for an independent appraisal of employer securities;
- Does not address the underlying issue of proper qualifications and standards for performing valuation services;
- Will increase the cost of valuation services for ESOP plans; and
- Will restrict the number of valuation specialists willing to do valuations for ESOP plans.