Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, incoming chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Monday that he plans to reintroduce in 2015 his Secure Annuities for Employee Retirement (SAFE) Act, which includes language that would stop the Department of Labor from writing fiduciary rules for individual retirement accounts.
“We shouldn’t have DOL writing these sort of things,” Hatch told reporters after his comments at an event held Monday in Washington by the Financial Services Roundtable, when asked about DOL’s planned re-release of its rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
Hatch’s SAFE Act prevents DOL from “over-regulating IRA investment advice,” and would restore jurisdiction for IRA prohibited transaction rules to the Treasury Department and also requires Treasury to consult with the Securities and Exchange Commission in prescribing rules relating to the professional standards of care owed by brokers and investment advisors to IRA owners.
The Act also restores “joint jurisdiction” for transaction rules that are prohibited by retirement plans to Treasury and DOL.
Hatch said that the likelihood of the SAFE Act’s passage in 2015—which he said is bipartisan legislation–is “pretty good,” and that he’d likely reintroduce the SAFE Act early in Congress’ new session.
An updated regulatory notice posted on the Office of Management and Budget’s website recently states that DOL plans to release in January a redraft of its rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under ERISA.
The Senate Finance Committee’s other priorities next year, Hatch told attendees at the FSR event titled, “Retiring Around the Globe: How the U.S. Compares with the Rest of the World,” includes updating the nation’s trade policies, which Hatch said would “take up much” of the committee’s agenda, as well as tax reform.