With Congress failing to include an alternative to the proposed Department of Labor fiduciary standard or a defunding rider in the omnibus spending bill earlier this week, Republican and Democratic lawmakers introduced two measures Friday that they say will help ensure financial advisors are able to provide retirement advice as they’ve done in the past.
The Strengthening Access to Valuable Education and Retirement Support (SAVERS) Act is being led by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), while Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) is supporting the Affordable Retirement Advice Protection (ARAP) Act. Both pieces of legislation would require an affirmative vote by Congress before any final rule by the Department of Labor goes into effect.
“We’re proud to strengthen and protect retirement planning tools for working families by raising investment advice standards throughout the industry,” a bipartisan group of legislators said in a press release on Friday. “These bipartisan proposals require advisors to serve their clients’ best interests, strengthen protections for retirement savers, and maintain access to quality financial advice for small businesses and low- and middle-income Americans.”
The group includes Roskam and Roe, as well as Reps. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and John Larson (D-Conn.).
The Financial Services Institute, which represents independent broker-dealers, says it is pleased with these bipartisan efforts “to protect retirement savers.”
FSI President & CEO Dale Brown says the group supports the SAVERS Act, which addresses “deep concerns over the pending Department of Labor fiduciary rule and its effects on retirement savers.”
For years, “a large, bipartisan swath of Congress has shown great concern with the impact the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will have on small and mid-sized investors,” Brown said in a statement. “We are hopeful the Department will take Congress’ deep concerns seriously and fix this rule before it’s finalized and retirement savers are irreparably harmed.”