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Joint Statement: Consumer Advocates Blast DOL Attempt to Kill Fiduciary Rule

Submitted by on November 27, 2017 – 5:49 pm
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Today the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule extending the applicability of the full protections of the conflict of interest (fiduciary) rule by a full year and a half, from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019. The Save Our Retirement (SOR) coalition issued the following statement in response:

“This action is effectively a repeal of the fiduciary rule’s most critical provisions – the provisions that ensure the rule is effective and enforceable and that financial advisers and their firms are accountable for providing the best interest advice retirement savers both want and need. DOL claims it is simply delaying the full implementation and enforcement of the fiduciary rule by 18 months, but delay implies these provisions will become applicable in the near future. However, the Trump Administration has made clear its goal is that these most critical provisions never become applicable. Instead, the Administration’s intent is to use this time to permanently dismantle key elements of the rule.

“The Trump Administration’s actions prove that it is far less interested in protecting investors from the harmful effects of conflicts of interest than it is in catering to Wall Street interests. This rule is only as strong as its ability to be enforced. By stripping out the rule’s private enforcement mechanism, and by stating that the Department won’t enforce the rule, the DOL has rendered the rule toothless. This is exactly what the industry rule opponents wanted – a best interest in name only standard that leaves the broker-dealer, insurance, and mutual fund industry free to continue draining retirement savers’ hard-earned money with impunity.  This outcome is especially troubling, since many firms in the adviser industry have embraced the rule and were fully prepared to comply by January 1st.”

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About Save Our Retirement

SOR is a diverse coalition of consumer and economic policy groups, civil rights organizations, and labor unions, whose steering committee includes:

AFL-CIO

AFSCME

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR)

Better Markets

Consumer Federation of America (CFA)

Economic Policy Institute (EPI)

National Employment Law Project (NELP)

Pension Rights Center

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