Everybody’s a ‘Critic’?

A recent story in Investment News completely mischaracterizes NAPA’s position on the fiduciary rule.

Earlier this week, we ran a story based on credible information from a reliable source describing a conversation between Labor Secretary Acosta and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). The information was timely, and we felt important to our readers, all the more so because of the widespread anxiety about the timing and implications of the fiduciary regulation.

That turned out to be information that Investment News didn’t have, relegating them to the position of reporting what we had reported. However, in reporting our coverage, they described us as “a financial industry critic of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule.” That is an incorrect characterization of NAPA’s (and by affiliation the American Retirement Association’s) position on the rule, but more importantly it had nothing to do with our reporting.

Asked to drop the inaccurate – and unnecessary – characterization of our position, the article’s author told me that the reason they believed the characterization was appropriate was… are you ready for this… that we had submitted comments on the rule. Moreover since, in the writer’s (and his editor’s) estimation, the only people who had submitted comments on the rule were opponents of the regulation meant that the fact that the American Retirement Association had, in response to a request for comments, provided them, meant that we must be a “critic.” I kid you not.

NAPA Net is a media outlet reporting on news and issues related to the 401(k) industry that is read daily by tens of thousands of subscribers. While we operate under the umbrella of the American Retirement Association, our editorial team determines the subject and content of its stories independent of the government affairs arm of the American Retirement Association. When NAPA Net does report on the government affairs activities of the American Retirement Association, we make it absolutely clear that we are conveying the position of the American Retirement Association. Beyond that we are here to provide a reliable, objective insights on the news, trends and developments that matter to our readers – as we have done since our inception in 2012.

In the meantime, for those who are interested (including, we hope, the folks at Investment News), in the actual, official government affairs position of NAPA and the American Retirement Association, we would encourage you to read the lengthy and detailed recent comment letters on the rule posted on our DOL fiduciary rule resource page (scroll to bottom). They reflect NAPA’s longstanding support for a best interest standard applicable to retirement advice, while acknowledging some concerns about certain significant elements of the now final regulation.

Note: While they refused to drop the “critic” label, Investment News did post a modest clarification about halfway down in the article indicating we are working with our members to implement the rule.

Add Your Comments

One Comment

  1. Posted May 12, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Big surprise here. I think the explosion in reporting opportunity (via social media and the internet in general) has led more people into the reporting world. And many of them appear to be too lazy to investigate their own information before they post it (hence the Fake News issues). This appears to be another of those examples.

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