House Speaker Ryan: DOL Fiduciary Rule Could Block 7 Million IRAs From Advice

The Republican leader vows to 'do everything possible' to stop it

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (Photo: AP) House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (Photo: AP)

House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted Monday that “up to 7 million IRAs wouldn’t qualify for advice” under the Department of Labor’s forthcoming rule to change the definition of fiduciary on retirement advice, and the political leader said online that he was “determined to do everything possible to protect consumers and stop this rule.”

In his Speaker’s blog, Ryan writes that while DOL’s proposed rule to expand the definition of fiduciary on investment advice is “a supposed attempt to prevent ‘conflicts of interest’ in financial advice,” the rule would in reality “create more paperwork and record-keeping requirements for planners, meaning higher costs for consumers.”

DOL’s new rule, “would also mean less access and fewer options for small businesses trying to get up and running and families looking for financial advice,” the blog states. Ryan cites analysis from the American Action Forum about 7 million IRA holders not qualifying for advice, and “as a result, individual investors with small-balance accounts likely will lose access to retirement advice and support,” he explains.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., a member of the House Budget Committee, as well as Dave Ramsey, host of the popular "Dave Ramsey Show" radio program, retweeted Ryan’s comments Monday as well. Ramsey tweeted that DOL’s rule “insults” an entire industry, as “most advisors already do act in the best interest of the client.”

(Related: How Annuities Will Be Transformed by DOL Fiduciary Rule)

Ryan’s blog also says the Obama administration rule “involves circumventing a bipartisan majority in the people’s House,” pointing to the bills approved Feb. 2 by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Affordable Retirement Advice Protection Act (H.R. 4293), introduced by Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., and the Strengthening Access to Valuable Education and Retirement Support (SAVERS) Act (H.R. 4294), introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill.

He also noted Rep. Ann Wagner’s bill, the Retail Investor Protection Act, which would halt DOL’s rule until the SEC issues its own “expected” fiduciary proposal. Wagner’s bill passed the House last October.

Earlier this month, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., introduced companion legislation to Wagner’s bill in the Senate.

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