Author Archives: Carolyn Sofman

Financial Planning Coalition Statement on Labor Department’s Announcement of Final Fiduciary Rule to Increase Protections for Retirement Savers

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 regarding the Department of Labor’s (DOL) announcement of a final rule requiring fiduciary-level advice for all Americans’ retirement assets under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA):

“The Financial Planning Coalition applauds the Department of Labor for its commitment to American investors and retirement savers. Based on our initial review, this rule, achieved through an inclusive, comprehensive review process, carefully balances needed consumer protections with preserved access to retirement advice. The end result is a rule that will help bring millions of Americans much closer to a secure, dignified retirement. We urge Congress not to harm American investors and retirement savers by dismantling this important consumer protection.”

Note: Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, CFP Board’s Managing Director of Public Policy, will speak on the Coalition’s behalf on a panel moderated by Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez to discuss the final rule and its impact during an event at the Center for American Progress. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. and can be viewed at www.dol.gov/live. Follow the event and other developments related to the final rule’s release on Twitter with the hashtag #SaveYourSavings.

Financial Planning Coalition Statement on Secretary Perez’s Testimony

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 regarding Secretary Perez’s discussion of the upcoming Department of Labor fiduciary rule during a hearing before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce:

“We commend Secretary Perez and the Department of Labor for taking steps to enhance protections for retirement savers and conducting an inclusive and thorough rulemaking process that has carefully sought and weighed input from all stakeholders. We remain optimistic that the final rule developed under Secretary Perez’s leadership will thoughtfully balance investor protections with access to reliable retirement advice and will allow millions of Americans to achieve financial security in retirement. We urge Congress not to further delay or derail this important consumer protection.”

Financial Planning Coalition Statement on SEC Nominations Hearing

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 regarding the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing to confirm Lisa Fairfax and Hester Peirce to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) five-member committee:

“The Financial Planning Coalition calls on the Senate Banking Committee to confirm nominees Lisa Fairfax and Hester Peirce. We look forward to working with both new Securities and Exchange Commissioners and remain hopeful that with all five Commissioners in office, the Commission will fulfill its investor protection mission. This includes following Chair White’s recommendation to develop a uniform fiduciary standard for broker dealers who provide retail investment advice. An SEC fiduciary standard will provide meaningful protections to American investors.”

Financial Planning Coalition Statement on President Obama’s FY 2017 Budget Proposal

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 regarding President Obama’s FY 2017 budget proposal:

“The Financial Planning Coalition applauds President Obama for his leadership and commitment to protecting American investors and retirement savers. In particular, increasing the annual funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission will help to ensure that there is sufficient oversight of investment advisers. We urge lawmakers to preserve the increase the President is recommending as it will help support the SEC in its investor protection mission. The Coalition is also pleased to see that the President continues to recognize the importance of reasonable protection for savers and retirees from misleading and harmful retirement advice through increased funding for the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Investors and the economy, more broadly, will benefit from the Obama Administration’s steadfast dedication to the American middle class.

Financial Planning Coalition Statement on Omnibus Spending Bill

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 regarding the omnibus spending bill, which did not include a policy “rider” delaying the DOL re-proposed rule on fiduciary.

“The Financial Planning Coalition applauds Congressional leaders in standing up for American investors by resisting attempts to halt or delay the Department of Labor’s (DOL) rulemaking to require financial advisors to put their clients’ interests first when providing advice related to retirement savings. Retirement investors need – more than ever – un-conflicted advice that is in their best interests. Now, by agreeing on a funding bill without the rider, and allowing the DOL to proceed with its rulemaking without further delay, Members of Congress can take an important step to strengthen retirement security for Americans.”

FPC to Congress: Additional Delay to Fiduciary Rule “Will Prevent This Administration From Achieving A Priority Consumer Protection”

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) – sent a letter to all Democratic Members of Congress outlining how an additional comment period for the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule will effectively kill the regulation:

“Opponents of the Department of Labor (DOL) rule, which would legally obligate financial professionals to provide investment advice in the best interest of retirement investors, are vigorously advocating for a rider on the year-end spending bill that would require the DOL to provide an additional comment period before publishing a final rule. While this may sound harmless, it is not. It will run out the clock on this Administration’s ability to promulgate a final rule, which will as a practical matter defeat the rule.

“The DOL is ready to act now under its Congressionally-mandated authority under ERISA to protect tax-preferred retirement savings. Please tell the Democratic leadership that you oppose this latest tactic to block this long overdue and badly needed consumer protection.”