FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Contact: Pamela Russell at 202-618-6433 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. – Better Markets has joined other public interest groups to urge the Department of Labor to extend the comment period on a rule that would take away protections for retirees. Stephen W. Hall, Legal Director and Securities Specialist for Better Markets, issued the following statement on the DOL’s attempt to shortcut the comment period for the flawed rule:
“The DOL is desperately trying to weaken protections against biased investment recommendations that siphon away tens of billions of dollars a year from Americans’ retirement accounts. It’s catering to the financial services industry, not the retirement savers it should be looking out for, and it doesn’t want stakeholders to have a full and fair opportunity to object by submitting comment letters. So, for its recent rule proposal on the standards governing financial advisers, the DOL cut the minimum 60-day comment period in half to just 30 days. And for another related rule, it skipped the comment period entirely and just declared it “final.”
“But that secretive approach to rulemaking is unreasonable, unfair, and contrary to the law. That’s why Better Markets has joined with other public interest organizations in a letter to the DOL urging it to extend the comment period on the proposal to at least 90 days. The letter makes clear that 90 days is the minimum amount of time necessary for all stakeholders to analyze the rule and prepare their comments. That’s because the proposal is so complex and important, affecting almost every American struggling to save for a decent retirement. Such a short comment period even conflicts with the law, which provides that the public must have a meaningful opportunity to comment on rule proposals, with a minimum of 60 days if not more.
“The DOL’s handling of this rulemaking is also unfair. When the prior Administration was putting together a strong rule that would have reined in the conflicts of interest among financial advisers, it routinely provided ample comment periods. And back then, when the financial industry asked for even more time to assemble its attacks on the rule, the agency repeatedly granted those requests. Now we’ll see if the DOL under this Administration will respect the law and what’s fair and reasonable.”
Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.