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Biden’s VP Pick Harris Opposes DOL Fiduciary Rule

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Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s pick to be vice president, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., recently joined other lawmakers in telling Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia that the department’s final rule and fiduciary prohibited transaction exemption “are not in the best interest of retirement savers.”

Harris joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as well as Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., in telling Labor to rework the fiduciary rule.

Biden chose Harris as his running mate on Aug. 12; she filed her comments along with other top Democrats in an Aug. 6 comment letter to Labor on its fiduciary rule package.

“The DOL should not only revisit and modernize its five-part test, but it should also meet its ERISA obligations in the PTE process,” the lawmakers told Scalia. “There is no reason for the DOL to arbitrarily rush and continue down this wrong path.”

Biden signaled in a draft party platform, released in mid-July, under the heading “Guaranteeing a Secure and Dignified Retirement” that he likely would torpedo the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest — as well as the Labor Department’s new fiduciary rule to align with Reg BI — if elected president.

“Democrats believe that when workers are saving for retirement, the financial advisors they consult should be legally obligated to put their client’s best interests first,” the draft said.

“We will take immediate action to reverse the Trump Administration’s regulations allowing financial advisors to prioritize their self-interest over their clients’ financial well-being,” the draft report stated in what appeared to be a reference to Reg BI.

The Democratic National Convention, in which Biden will be officially nominated by the party, started Monday.

— Check out 5 Groups That Aren’t Thrilled With DOL’s Fiduciary Rewind on ThinkAdvisor.