AFR Statement: Delay of Fiduciary A Ripoff of Retirement Savers, Gift to Wall Street’s Financial Advisers


Sept. 15, 2017

Carter Dougherty
(202) 869-0397

Retirement Ripoff Counter Heads Past $10 Billion, Groups Condemn Plan to Stall Fiduciary Rule

Savers Need Fully-Enforced Fiduciary Rule, Not Wall Street-Backed Delay

AFR Debuts Video of Retired Veteran Scammed by Financial Adviser

As the Department of Labor pushes ahead with a rule that would delay full enforcement of the fiduciary rule, Americans for Financial Reform, as part of the Save our Retirement coalition, is highlighting the costs to retirement savers of not having this common-sense consumer protection that simply ensures financial advisers provide the best possible advice. The department’s comment period on its plans ends today.

“Delaying the full enforcement of the fiduciary rule means seniors and people saving for retirement are being and will be be bilked out of their hard earned money — billions of dollars per year,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. “An insecure retirement for you and a spouse is a painful human cost that goes beyond the billions of dollars at stake. And it’s not simply a delay; it’s about carving out time to weaken it at the behest of  the worst actors on Wall Street.”

In April, we dramatized the costs by projecting the Retirement Ripoff Counter onto well-known buildings in Washington, DC (the Department of Labor, the U.S. Chamber of Congress and Donald Trump’s hotel). Then, the cost to retirement savers was about $2.8 billion. This past weekend, the number climbed above $10 billion.

That same day in April, we heard from Steve Wingate, a retired veteran from Illinois who fell victim to the type of treatment that would be prohibited under the fiduciary rule. We’ve created a short video about his case.

The department is now rushing to finalize an 18-month delay in the enforcement of the fiduciary rule. This wrongheaded move would cost retirement savers another $10.9 billion over 30 years as compliance with the rule varies widely and leaves confused investors at the mercy of unscrupulous advisers, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Please contact AFR for interviews, additional visuals, the video of Wingate, or the code to embed the Retirement Ripoff Counter on a website. Our public comment to the department can be found here.