The Senate will vote today on a resolution to disapprove the Department of Labor’s rule requiring retirement advisers to put their clients’ best interests first. The principal sponsors of the Senate resolution – Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Mike Enzi of Wyoming – profess to be worried about low- and middle-income savers losing access to financial advice. This is a baseless concern. The Labor Department rule simply says that financial professionals who claim to offer honest, unbiased advice on retirement savings should actually have to do that. This common-sense requirement will benefit all retirement savers by protecting them against misleading sales pitches disguised as advice. Numerous investment professionals already serve low- and moderate-income retirement savers under a best-interests standard.
The motive for this resolution is not a genuine concern about the wellbeing of retirement savers. Instead, some Wall Street salespeople and their firms are worried about losing out on the billions of dollars in excess profits they have been making by recommending investment products that serve their own interests at the expense of their clients. Senators who truly care about the economic security of American workers and retirees should stand up for the DOL rule and reject this resolution.