Close
ThinkAdvisor

Retirement Planning > Saving for Retirement

House bill to 'protect' savers from DOL fiduciary rule

X
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers plan to introduce legislation soon that they say will “protect the retirement savings of all Americans” from the upcoming release of the Department of Labor’s rule to change the definition of fiduciary on retirement advice.

Reps. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., Richard Neal, D-Mass., Phil Roe, R-Tenn., and Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., outlined Thursday what they say are a series of legislative principles that will “help strengthen the retirement security of working families and ensure retirement advisors protect their clients’ best interests.”

Roe is a member of the Education and Workforce Committee while Reps. Roskam and Neal are members of House Ways and Means, and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The lawmakers note that their measures are needed as “bipartisan concerns grow” over how DOL’s pending final rule to change the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act will impact low- and middle-income families.

The lawmakers said in a joint statement that they are “concerned” that DOL’s “current fiduciary proposal may have unintended negative consequences that could harm individuals and families saving for retirement.”

While DOL has pledged “to change aspects of the regulation before final issuance, [we] feel more must be done to adequately address concerns about the rule’s impact on the ability of low- and middle-class families to save for retirement.”

David Bellaire, executive vice president and general counsel for the Financial Services Institute — which has strongly opposed DOL’s fiduciary rulemaking — said that FSI has said “all along the DOL needs to get this rule done right, not done fast.”

Members of Congress, Bellaire said, “have not only the right but the obligation to ensure hardworking Americans continue to have access to retirement advice from their independent financial advisor of choice. We will continue to work with Congress to ensure that access is never denied.”

The legislation will include the following principles, as stated by the lawmakers:

  • Promoting families and individuals saving for a financially secure retirement is an essential public policy good.  

  • Retirement advisors must serve in their clients’ best interests and must be required to do so.  

  • Retirement advisors must deliver clear, simple and relevant disclosure of material conflicts, including compensation received and all investment fees to individuals saving for retirement.  

  • Public policies must protect access to investment advice and education for low- and middle-income workers and retirees.

  • Public policies should never deny individuals the financial information they need to make informed decisions.  

  • Investor choice and consumer access to all investment services – such as proprietary products, commission-based sales, and guaranteed lifetime income – should be preserved in a way that does not pick winners and losers.  

  • Small-business owners should have access to the financial advice and products they need to establish and maintain retirement plans and help workers save for retirement.

See also:

Why the ‘f’ in fiduciary matters

Experts say DOL rule will remain largely unchanged