Financial Planning Coalition Comments on New York State Department of Financial Services’ Proposed Amendments to Insurance Regulation 187

The Financial Planning Coalition (Coalition) – comprised of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) – recommends that the New York Department of Financial Services revisit two provisions of the proposed amendments to Insurance Regulation 187 in order to 1) establish a clear, strong fiduciary mandate; and 2) strengthen the certification and designation requirements vis-à-vis financial planning and financial advice. The Coalition’s comment letter can be found here.

Financial Planning Coalition Responds to Colorado HB18-111, Concerning the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees’ Retirement Association

The Financial Planning Coalition (Coalition) which is comprised of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), supports adding a CFP® professional to the Board of Trustees of the Public Employee’s Retirement Association (PERA). The Coalition’s full response can be found here.

Financial Planning Coalition Urges Trump Administration to Prioritize Fiduciary Standard Rule

Washington, D.C., February 2, 2018 – 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 surrounding President Trump’s State of the Union Address and the one-year anniversary of his presidential memorandum ordering a review of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule.

“President Trump lauded the growth of Americans’ 401(k)s and pensions during his first State of the Union Address. But while many Americans’ retirement savings continue to thrive, it is imperative that these financial gains are preserved for the long term. The American people deserve to get a good deal when they seek advice for retirement savings. The Coalition calls on the President and his regulatory agencies to prioritize full implementation of a fiduciary standard of care to prevent conflicted financial advice and protect Americans’ hard-earned savings.”

One year ago, the President submitted a presidential memorandum to the Labor Secretary to review its fiduciary rule. Since then, the DOL has delayed the full implementation of the rule – which already addresses concerns raised by lawmakers, regulators, financial industry organizations, public interest groups and consumers – and unnecessarily jeopardizes the financial well-being of millions of Americans, who lose billions of dollars each year because of conflicts of interest. Continued delay of this important measure denies millions of people the retirement security that they deserve.

While the Coalition is pleased that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pursuing a fiduciary standard for all investment advice, it is important that any rule proposed by the SEC not replace but complement the DOL rule.

The Coalition believes that requiring advisers to work in retirement investors’ best interest is an essential and long overdue reform. The Coalition strongly urges the Department of Labor to continue its work toward full implementation of investment advice standards that can support American businesses and consumers as soon as possible.

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.