Following an announcement from the Department of Labor (DOL) that it has proposed for public comment rules on the provision of investment advice for retirement assets, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, issued a statement in strong support of the Administration’s move to modernize its “fiduciary duty” rule, which seeks to ensure that those providing investment advice are actually working in the best interest of retirement savers.
Waters applauded the “milestone achievement” as a means of addressing disparities and eliminating current regulatory gaps that leave hardworking Americans exposed to conflicted and deceptive investment practices.
The Council of Economic Advisors estimates that one-quarter of retirement savings are lost due to conflicted investment advice. Today’s proposal seeks to help remedy this problem and is expected to save retirement investors more than $40 billion.
Waters offered the following statement:
“Today’s announcement by the Department of Labor (DOL) is a milestone achievement for our nation’s workers and retirees.
While the proposal has a lengthy road ahead before implementation, today’s action helps ensure that those providing investment advice are required to do so in a manner that puts their clients’ interests ahead of their own. Such a duty embraces an essential right we’ve celebrated in this country for more than 80 years – the right to retire with dignity and security.
A safe and secure retirement for all people is critical to narrowing the disparities among our nation’s population. I applaud the DOL for today proposing to close the loopholes and gaps in our current regulatory structure, and for addressing concerns I and many of my colleagues had with the prior proposal’s impact on low-income and minority retirees. I’m encouraged that this proposal addresses those concerns by refraining from prohibiting certain compensation practices – and by seeking to ensure that vulnerable populations have access to investment advice that is in their best interests.
It is important that the Department has acknowledged the dramatic changes in the retirement landscape over the past 40 years, by seeking to broaden the scope of the fiduciary duty to cover the provision of advice to cover common investment vehicles, such as IRA assets, and one-time advice.
Rather than using the legislative process to further delay or weaken these protections for millions of America’s retirees and investors, I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting efforts to impose these much needed, common sense reforms of the rules governing retirement advice.”