The Financial Planning Coalition issued the following statement regarding the House Financial Services Committee’s vote in support of H.R. 1090, legislation designed to impede the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rulemaking:
“The need for a strengthened fiduciary rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is long overdue. As H.R. 1090 heads to the House floor, we urge Congress not to intervene – through this bill or any other vehicle – and to let the DOL do its job and protect retirement investors.
“As recognized by 25 members of the House Financial Services Committee, the DOL is the expert agency charged with implementing fiduciary-level advice for tax-preferred retirement assets under ERISA. That fiduciary principle – wisely recognized by Congress in 1974 – is even more important in today’s retirement marketplace in which retirement investors are largely responsible for their own retirement savings.”
The Coalition sent a letter to members of the House Financial Services Committee on September 29, urging opposition to the legislation. H.R. 1090, the so-called “Retail Investor Protection Act,” does not protect retail investors. Rather, it inappropriately prohibits the DOL from adopting a rule to protect America’s retirement investors until after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issues a fiduciary rule. This would indefinitely delay or completely block adoption of a DOL fiduciary rule because the SEC is not required to issue a fiduciary rule, has yet to propose a rule – almost five years since Congress authorized it to do so – and may never do so. In contrast, the DOL, after years of study and an extensive economic analysis, has released a comprehensive proposal that would close loopholes in its 40 year-old rule and extend long overdue fiduciary advice to plans, plan beneficiaries, and IRA holders under ERISA.