“There’s a discussion going on that is vital to the retirement money you’ve worked so hard to save.
“The Labor Department, directed by the Obama administration, is proposing that more advisers, when giving retirement investment advice, put their clients’ best interests first.
“You’re probably thinking what I thought after learning about this: Wait, these advisers aren’t already required to recommend investment products that are in my best interests?
“Turns out, not all of them. The difference between who is required to follow that standard and who isn’t comes down to language.
“An investment adviser who has a “fiduciary duty” must act in the best interests of clients. A broker-dealer is a firm or individual licensed to sell individual securities. These brokers and other investment professionals who are not fiduciaries don’t have to act in a client’s best interests. Instead, the law says they have to make sure their advice is “suitable” for the client.”
“Meanwhile, seven groups — AARP, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Americans for Financial Reform, Better Markets, the Consumer Federation of America and the Pension Rights Center — advocate a rule change at SaveOurRetirement.com.”
Read the full Washington Post article by Michelle Singletary here.