NU Online News Service, Nov. 16, 4:30 p.m. – The U.S. Senate is now considering H.R. 2269, a bill that could help employers offer professional investment advice to members of 401(k) retirement plans and other retirement plans.

The House approved the bill 280-144 Thursday.

A copy of the final text is available on the Library of Congress Web site, at

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.02269:

The American Benefits Council, Washington, has posted charts summarizing the bill and competing proposals at

http://www.appwp.org/issues/retirement/investment.htm

CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, came out strongly in support of House passage of H.R. 2269, which was introduced by Rep. John Boehner, R-Hamilton, Ohio.

“The legislation will offer consumers access to valuable investment education and counseling as they seek to maximize their retirement benefits,” the company says.

The Committee on the Investment of Employee Benefit Assets, Bethesda, Md., a group that represents managers of large pension plans, put out a statement praising Boehner for his work on the issue and supporting another investment advisory bill introduced by Sens. Jeff Bingamon, D-N.M., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, in the Senate.

But some financial advisors and many groups representing consumers and retirees have opposed the final version of the Boehner bill, arguing that its restrictions on advisor conflicts of interest are too weak.

Investmart Inc., Pittsburgh, a retirement financial services firm, has suggested that Congress protect plan members by limiting the amount of assets they can invest in mutual funds or other funds sold by the investment company that employs of a “proprietary advice giver.”