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.