Joint Statement: Fiduciary Rule, Win for Retirement Savers, Takes Effect Today After Years-Long Effort

Carter Dougherty
(202) 869-0397



Groups Caution Against Attempts to Undermine or Reverse Rule in Place as of Friday.

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 9, 2017 –  With the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule barring conflicted investment advice to retirement savers going into effect today, the members of the Save Our Retirement (SOR) coalition issued the following statements:

Barbara Roper, director of investor protection, Consumer Federation of America said: “This is a major victory in the decades-long fight to ensure that investors get the best interest advice they want and deserve when they turn to financial professionals for help with their retirement. But this victory is far from secure. For investors to truly be protected, we need to ensure that neither Congress nor the Trump administration undermines these protections by rescinding or watering down the rule.”

Stephen W. Hall, legal director, Better Markets said: “Today is a victory for all hardworking Americans trying to save for retirement. This rule will save tens of millions of retirement savers tens of billions of dollars every year because their financial advisers must now act in their client’s best interest, not their own.  This is also a victory for the rule of law, since it has so far prevailed against nonstop and baseless legal challenges.  But the battle is far from over, and we must resist ongoing efforts at the DOL itself, on the Hill, and in the courts to dilute or dismantle the rule.” 

Lisa Donner, executive director, Americans for Financial Reform said: “Financial advisers now owe their clients a duty to put their interests first when giving retirement advice. This change is a huge victory for ordinary Americans investing for a secure retirement, one that will put billions of dollars back in their pockets. The worst elements of Wall Street and their allies in Congress and the Trump administration are still trying to take away this important advance, so we are not done fighting back.”

Christine Owens, executive director, National Employment Law Project said: “After an exhaustive seven-year process, we’re thrilled that the Labor Department’s conflict-of-interest rule finally takes effect today. The rule represents a major step to help millions of retirement savers around the country in an era when the onus is increasingly on workers to save and make their own investment decisions.  The rule protects retirement savers’ right to know whether the advice they’re getting actually promotes their financial interests—not the interests of their investment adviser. While some segments of the financial services industry continue to oppose this rule, we urge Secretary Acosta not to pare back protections that are important to everyday workers who count on every dollar of their retirement savings.”

Karen Friedman, executive vice president and policy director, Pension Rights Center said: “The DOL’s rule to enable people to get advice they can trust on their 401(k)s and IRA savings is one of the biggest and most important wins for consumers today, helping workers and retirees protect their hard-earned retirement money. If Congress cares about working class Americans, they should let this rule stand and not succumb to pressure from financial institutions to once again try to defang or repeal it.”

William Samuel, government affairs director, AFL-CIO said: “Starting today, working people could see a meaningful increase in the value of their retirement savings accounts because new protections from financial advisers’ conflicts of interest begin to take effect. It is good news that the legal loopholes permitting financial advisers to provide investment recommendations that are not in their client’s best interest finally have closed. The bad news is that the change applies only to retirement accounts like 401(k) plans and IRAS; for non-retirement accounts and government employee plans, the old rules still apply. We hope the new rule is fully implemented without disruption, and that this Administration sees fit to address financial advisers’ conflicts of interest across the board.”

Heidi Shierholz, director of policy, Economic Policy Institute, and former chief economist, U.S. Labor Department said: Workers in every state will benefit from the fiduciary rule if it’s fully implemented and enforced. The fight over this conflict of interest rule pits well-paid financial advisors against workers saving for retirement: With this rule in place, the workers win.”