Financial Planning Coalition Statement on Department of Labor’s Decision to Delay Enforcement Provisions 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 related to today’s announcement from the Department of Labor delaying enforcement provisions of its fiduciary rule until July 2019:

“The Coalition believes that requiring advisers to work in retirement investors’ best interest is an essential and long overdue reform. Delaying enforcement of the fiduciary rule – which already addresses concerns raised by lawmakers, regulators, financial industry organizations, public interest groups and consumers – unnecessarily derails that reform and jeopardizes the financial well-being of millions of American savers, who lose billions of dollars each year because of conflicts of interest. The Coalition strongly urges the Department to continue its work toward full implementation of investment-advice standards that can support businesses and consumers as soon as possible.”

Financial Planning Coalition Responds to SEC re: Standards of Conduct for Investment Advisers & Broker-dealers

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 response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s request for information (RFI) regarding standards of conduct for investment advisers and broker-dealers.

In its response, the Coalition reiterated its position that any SEC rulemaking on standards of conduct for broker-dealers providing personalized investment advice to retail investors is long overdue, and that it should not serve as a replacement of the DOL’s 2016 fiduciary rule (DOL Rule), but rather as a complement to it. The Coalition additionally shared its views that are based on its real-world experience of applying the fiduciary standard across business and compensation models, including:

  • Fiduciary Standard is Crucial to American Retail Investors Facing Self-Directed Investment Market
  • CFP Board’s Standards Can Complement SEC Rulemaking
  • Lack of a Uniform Fiduciary Standard Exacerbates Investor Confusion and Causes Investor Harm
  • Disclosure-Only Regime is Insufficient
  • Suitability is Not the Same as a Fiduciary Standard in the Best Interest of the Custome
  • SEC Fiduciary Rulemaking Requires Further Consideration of a Variety of Issues

The Coalition holds a longstanding interest in this issue and in numerous comment letters over the last several years has expressed its support for a fiduciary standard of care for all financial professionals who offer personalized investment advice to retail investors. The Coalition believes that there is no justification for different standards of care for financial professionals who provide the same services to retail investors. A strengthened fiduciary rule, encompassing the duties of care and loyalty, is both necessary and appropriate for SEC-registered firms and represents to protect American investors. A meaningful, legally enforceable uniform fiduciary standard of care that puts investors’ interests first is the best way to strengthen investor protection when personalized investment advice is dispensed.

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.