Lawmakers aired their concerns on Thursday about the upcoming release of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary redraft and laid out their plans to ensure the next Congress keeps the current retirement planning tax incentives that allow Americans to save.
“I’m mindful of [the] DOL fiduciary rulemaking,” Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., told reporters after his remarks at the Insured Retirement Institute’s 2nd annual Champions of Retirement Security Awards event, held on Capitol Hill. “I don’t want new [DOL] regs that are onerous and burdensome.”
Neal, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, along with Reps. Patrick Tiberi, R-Ohio, and Rush Holt, D-N.J., were the 2014 recipients of IRI’s Champions of Retirement Security Award.
Besides anticipating the release soon of a new Treasury and IRS rule on lifetime income, Holt said that he’ll be “keeping his eye” on the DOL’s fiduciary redraft release, which he said could come at “anytime.”
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DOL has “been eager to do it [put out a rule reproposal] for two years,” Holt told reporters after his remarks.
During his remarks to IRI event attendees, Holt, who serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce but will not seek re-election in the next Congress, said DOL “has gotten into a mindset that they can’t shake.” Instead of asking how they can help “ill-prepared” Americans save for retirement, DOL “seems to be taking the approach of … saying how can we restrict as much information as possible.”
Holt told reporters after his remarks that DOL’s stance appears to be that “unless you have an [fiduciary] advisor, the advice is conflicted,” which Holt said he doesn’t believe is true. While “nobody wants retirees or investors to be hoodwinked or misled,” the DOL’s proposal seeks to restrict advice. “I want them [Americans] to get some advice so they can begin thinking about retirement.”
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in late October that DOL continues to “reach out to stakeholders” regarding the redraft of its rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and would refer only to the January redraft release date as cited in DOL’s regulatory agenda.