Author Archives: Carolyn Sofman

Financial Planning Coalition Releases Statement on the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

Washington, D.C. – The Financial Planning Coalition – comprising Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) – issued the following statement on today’s implementation of key aspects of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule:

“The day retirement savers have been waiting for has finally arrived. With critical provisions of the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule firmly in place, Americans saving for retirement now know that financial professionals are required to put their best interests first – an essential and long overdue reform. It takes decades for people to save for a comfortable and secure retirement. They deserve to know that their hard-earned assets will be protected and allowed to grow with fiduciary-level advice. Further, financial firms and advisers will see that they can operate and succeed with this rule in place. We strongly urge the Department and members of Congress to work jointly to enable full implementation of the rule.”

The Coalition brings a unique perspective to this discussion. Coalition stakeholders and members have committed to provide financial planning services under a fiduciary standard of conduct. CFP® professionals hold registrations and/or licenses across business models as investment adviser representatives, registered representatives of broker-dealers and/or insurance agents and in many instances hold dual or multiple registrations or licenses. Regardless of business model, or compensation model, they are obligated to provide financial planning services under a fiduciary standard of conduct.

Financial Planning Coalition Statement on SEC Fiduciary Action

Washington, D.C. – The Financial Planning Coalition – comprising Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) – issued the following statement on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision to consider a fiduciary rule:

“The Financial Planning Coalition is pleased that the SEC is open to extending the fiduciary standard to broker-dealers who offer personalized investment advice. We are especially encouraged by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s particular interest. However, any work done by the SEC should not stymie or undercut the fiduciary rule that will be implemented by the Department of Labor.

A rule considered by the SEC cannot be considered as a replacement of the DOL’s fiduciary rule, which serves as an enforceable standard for advisers to put the interests of Americans who are saving for retirement ahead of their own. The DOL rule and any proposed SEC rule would fall under different statutes and serve different purposes.

Requiring financial professionals to work in the best interest of Americans and their finances is an essential and long overdue reform; many in the financial services industry have already acknowledged and implemented practices to comply with a standard fiduciary rule. The Coalition looks forward to working with the SEC and Chairman Clayton as they pursue this rule-making process.”

Financial Planning Coalition Welcomes Implementation of Fiduciary Rule

Washington, D.C. – The Financial Planning Coalition – comprising Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) – issued the following statement on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) announcement to move forward with the implementation of the fiduciary rule on June 9:

“The Coalition applauds the administration’s decision to move forward with components of the fiduciary rule while the DOL continues to seek public input. This is an important first step to ensure that Americans who are saving for retirement have an enforceable standard, which will require advisers to put their customers’ financial interests ahead of their own. The Coalition congratulates the individuals and organizations involved in protecting these valuable safeguards under the fiduciary rule.

“Requiring advisers to work in the best interest of Americans saving for retirement is an essential and long overdue reform. Many in the financial services industry have already acknowledged the rule’s benefit to consumers and have taken action to comply with the DOL fiduciary rule, but there is still more to be done, as millions of Americans anxiously await a decision from the agency. The Coalition looks forward to working with the DOL and Secretary Acosta in the months ahead to ensure these best practices are upheld through the full implementation of the rule.”

Financial Planning Coalition Urges Congress to Support Implementation of Fiduciary Rule

Washington, D.C. – The Financial Planning Coalition – comprising Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) – called on members of the Education and the Workforce subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) to oppose any action that will delay or prevent implementation of the Labor Department’s (DOL) fiduciary rule.

In a letter to the subcommittee, the group detailed their position on the fiduciary rule and the negative effects it would have on Americans should it be delayed or reversed.

“It is well documented that American workers saving for retirement lose out on billions of dollars each year as a result of relying on investment advice from financial professionals who put their own financial interest ahead of their customers’ best interests,” the group wrote. “Congress can address this drain on Americans’ retirement savings by supporting the DOL fiduciary rule.”

The Coalition added that “calls for Congress to delay or prevent implementation – citing ‘costly’ or ‘burdensome’ regulations – disregard the conclusions reached by many in the financial services industry who have begun implementation, as the rule benefits both American businesses and American consumers.”

The Coalition brings a unique perspective to this discussion; its stakeholders and members have committed to provide financial planning services under a fiduciary standard of conduct. The Coalition believes that requiring advisers to work in the retirement investor’s best interest is an essential and long overdue reform.

Financial Planning Coalition Urges Congress to Oppose Delay of Fiduciary Rule

Washington, D.C. – The Financial Planning Coalition – comprising Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) – called on members of the Senate and House of Representatives to oppose any action that will delay or prevent implementation of the Labor Department’s (DOL) fiduciary rule.

“We understand opponents of the fiduciary rule are aggressively advocating for a rider on the spending bill now under discussion that would prohibit DOL from implementing the fiduciary rule; this advocacy is based on the mistaken belief that an alternative to the fiduciary rule is needed,” the group wrote in a letter sent on April 25. “We urge you to strongly oppose any rider that will delay or prevent implementation of the fiduciary rule, which requires financial professionals to provide retirement investment advice in the best interest of retirement investors.”

The Coalition added that “any Congressional action would effectively kill the fiduciary rule, leaving American retirement savers unprotected from investment advice that is not in their best interest. Congressional action is unnecessary given the extraordinarily lengthy and transparent notice and comment process that has already occurred.”

The Coalition urges Congress to allow the DOL to continue its crucial work to protect retirement investors. Many in the financial services industry have already begun implementation of the rule, as it benefits both American businesses and American consumers. Indeed, the Coalition brings a unique perspective to this discussion; its stakeholders and members have committed to provide financial planning services under a fiduciary standard of conduct. The Coalition believes that requiring advisers to work in the retirement investor’s best interest is an essential and long overdue reform.

Financial Planning Coalition Submits Supplementary Comment Letter Opposing Delay of DOL Fiduciary Rule

Washington, D.C. – The Financial Planning Coalition – comprising Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) – submitted a supplementary comment letter opposing the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposal to delay the implementation of its fiduciary rule, which was approved in April 2016.

“The Coalition believes that a strengthened fiduciary rule under ERISA is essential for America’s retirement investors and is workable for advisers, and we strongly support implementation of the Department’s final rule,” the group wrote, adding: “The Coalition opposes any modification or repeal of the final rule that would prevent its prompt implementation and thus prevent the Department from taking critically needed steps to enhance protections for retirement Investors.”

The Coalition’s letter concluded: “We urge the Department to refrain from modifying or repealing the Final Rule and promptly begin its implementation.”

The fiduciary rule, which establishes critical safeguards for retirement investors, was scheduled for implementation on April 10. If approved by DOL, the implementation of the fiduciary rule will be delayed until June 9, which will lead to more potential harm to consumers, and continue unnecessary confusion in the financial services industry. The letter asserts that:

  • The Department’s rushed reconsideration process contradicts the prior comprehensive process for promulgating the final rule
  • The Department must ensure the regulatory impact analysis adequately accounts for investor harm
  • Modification or repeal of the final rule is contrary to ERISA’s language and purpose
  • The Department’s final rule meets the requirements of the presidential memorandum

The Coalition brings a unique perspective to this discussion; its stakeholders and members have committed to provide financial planning services under a fiduciary standard of conduct. The Coalition believes that requiring an Adviser to work in the retirement investor’s best interest is an essential and long overdue reform.