ACLI strongly supports the proposed 18-month delay of provisions of the Department of Labor's fiduciary regulation slated to apply January 1, 2018 (September 14, 2017)
As currently written, the Department of Labor’s fiduciary regulation limits retirement savers’ access to education and information about retirement solutions like annuities, the only financial products in the marketplace that guarantee lifetime income.
Our objective since the department first proposed the fiduciary regulation in April 2015 has been to work cooperatively with the department to ensure its final rule protects consumers without harming their ability to obtain the financial and retirement security advice they want and need.
During the department’s rulemaking effort, ACLI made clear that the regulation would not serve the best interests of consumers as it would result in:
- Less access to investment advice and education for low- and middle-income savers and retirees;
- Limited investor choice and consumer access to all investment services—such as proprietary products, commission-based sales and annuities, the only financial products in the private marketplace that guarantee lifetime income;
- Reduced small business owners’ access to information and products they need to establish and maintain retirement plans and help workers save for retirement.
ACLI welcomed the President's memorandum on February 3 that directed the Secretary of Labor to examine the regulation to determine whether it may adversely affect the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information and financial advice. Any objective analysis would conclude that the regulation will have a harmful impact on investors due to a reduction in access to retirement product structures, retirement savings information and related financial advice. The path forward is clear. Any regulation that makes it harder for Americans to obtain the financial products and services they want and need should return to the drawing board.
America’s life insurers support reasonable and appropriately tailored regulations that require all sales professionals to act in their customers’ best interest. The fiduciary regulation unfortunately does not meet this standard. ACLI is encouraging collaboration between the Labor Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the states and Congress to develop comprehensive public policy solutions that help Americans meet their financial and retirement security goals.