What You Need to Know
- FSI filed a lawsuit against the Labor Department for withdrawing its final independent contractor rule.
- It's possible a ruling in that case will come by year-end.
- Of the 500 OneVoice conference registrants, 300 were onsite in Orlando.
A “very heavy focus” for the Financial Services Institute’s advocacy efforts this year will continue to be fighting for advisors’ independent contractor status, David Bellaire, FSI’s vice president and general counsel, said Tuesday.
“There’s still an awful lot of work to do on this [independent contractor] issue, but I’d say that our team is cautiously optimistic,” Bellaire told reporters during a virtual briefing from FSI’s OneVoice conference, held in Orlando.
FSI filed a lawsuit on May 13 against the Labor Department for withdrawing its final independent contractor rule and is now actively lobbying senators about a legislative remedy, Bellaire told ThinkAdvisor in a previous interview.
“We think it’s possible to have a ruling in that case by year-end,” Bellaire relayed.
“Independent contractor issues are so critical to our members,” he continued. While it’s not the only advocacy issue FSI is working on, “it’s really a very heavy focus of our advocacy this year.”
DOL’s withdrawal of its independent contractor rule earlier this year makes “it more expensive and difficult [for advisors] to operate in the indie contractor model,” Bellaire said.
FSI also applauds the recent introduction of legislation by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., The Small Business Fairness Act, which Bellaire said “would allow more financial advisors to take advantage of the pass-through taxation break.”