We would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of people outside the Department of Labor who like the DOL's proposed fiduciary rule for advisors who serve retirement plans or individuals saving for retirement.
NAIFA has long opposed the Labor rule, which is likely to harm people trying to save for retirement and deprive them of access to products, services and advice.
Even Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Confederation of America and a leading voice in favor of a strict Securities and Exchange Commission fiduciary standard for broker-dealers, told a congressional subcommittee that the Labor fiduciary rule could stop broker-dealers from selling Individual Retirement Accounts.
Now, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has added his voice to the chorus of more than 100 members of Congress who have asked DOL to scrap the proposed rule. In the letter, Rep. Frank says that any DOL fiduciary rule should "not have adverse effects on the choices available to consumers, municipalities, and pension plans, among others." He strongly urges the department to withdraw the currently proposed rule.
"The Department of Labor decided on their own to reinterpret a 1974 law in a way likely to do great harm to financial advisors and, more importantly, to their clients who are trying to save for retirement," said NAIFA President Robert Miller. "Congress didn't ask the department to do this, but they seem to have become quite entrenched in their position, despite the wide variety of opposition. It's almost like this rule has become DOL's white whale, but let's hope that's a situation that can change."
InvestmentNews article: "NAIFA Sends Members to Hill to Fight DOL Fiduciary Rule."
Update: It seems DOL has heard its critics after all. The Department announced today that it will withdraw its fiduciary rule and repropose it following "additional input, review and consideration."
The Department's press release says: "The decision to re-propose is in part a response to requests from the public, including members of Congress, that the agency allow an opportunity for more input on the rule."
Thanks to all of the NAIFA members who weighed in on this important issue. NAIFA will remain closely involved as DOL develops the new version of the rule.