The key takeaway from the third day of an unprecedented four days of a public hearing at the Department of Labor (DOL) to discuss its proposed best interest fiduciary rule:
While it’s no surprise that industry has continued to claim DOL’s proposal is “unworkable” in an attempt to kill or gut the rule, leading labor, retirement, and investor protection organizations have made clear that it’s a strong rule critical to protecting Americans’ retirement security.
“While a fiduciary standard would require market adjustments, giving conflict-free retirement advice is not unworkable. Thirty million investors are currently served by registered investment advisers who manage $67 trillion under a legal obligation to serve the best interest of their clients. And, increasingly, firms are using technology to offer advice under a fiduciary standard at a fraction of the cost of the conflicted advice available today,” – Joe Valenti, Director of Consumer Finance, Center for American Progress.
“We believe the Department has hit the ‘sweet spot’ with this proposal – finding a middle ground that protects retirement investors while also accommodating the reasonable and legitimate concerns of the financial industry,” – Maria Freese, Senior Policy Advisor, Pension Rights Center
“Some financial industry representatives claim these exemptions are unworkable. Here again, what they seem to be saying is it would be unworkable to provide advice that is in the best interests of their clients,” – Richard G. Thissen, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
“The Department of Labor must not weaken or reverse this rule in the face of criticism by those who profit from conflicted financial advice,” – Marcus Stanley, Policy Director, Americans for Financial Reform
“The DOL proposal is workable, it is doable, and by the way, it is profitable,” – Kate McBride, Chair, Committee for the Fiduciary Standard
Nothing from today’s hearing has changed the fact that the DOL has all the information it needs to quickly move forward to finalize this rule and give workers and retirees the unbiased, conflict-free advice they expect and deserve to build a secure retirement.