Tester, Heitkamp, Donnelly, King urge Labor Secretary to update fiduciary rule based on public comment

Senators: Substantive changes still need to be made

(U.S. Senate) – After the conclusion of a public comment period, Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Angus King (I-Maine) are urging Labor Secretary Tom Perez to ensure that his department’s new rule governing Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisors does not cut off middle-class investors from access to quality retirement advice.

The Senators argue the new rule in its current form comes with unintended consequences that could undermine the ability of Main Street investors to access affordable retirement advice.

In a letter to Secretary Perez, the Senators urged him to make substantive changes to the rule based on public comment and input from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

“We share the goal of protecting hard-working Americans as they save for retirement. And we agree that too many Americans are insecure about their retirement,” the Senators wrote. “We support holding Broker-Dealers to a best-interest standard, and we support the DOL’s overall goals. However, we are concerned that the rule in its current form could stifle access to meaningful investment advice for millions of Main Street investors.”

The Senators highlight seven areas where they think the Labor Department should make substantive changes to the rule to ensure that middle class families continue to have access to retirement advice. Those changes include preserving the current business model and existing investment products, ensuring that individuals and small businesses can continue to access educational materials about investing, and preventing current investors from being forced to change their investment strategy.

According to National Institute on Retirement Security, the gap between what Americans are saving for retirement and what they will need to retire could be as much as $14 trillion.

The Senators’ letter to Secretary Perez is available online HERE.