Letter-Writing Campaign Launched on SEC Proposal

Guess who’s working to drum up comments on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest proposal?

The AARP, a long-time proponent of the Labor Department’s recently demised fiduciary rule, has launched a campaign to “stop Wall Street from exploiting hard-working older Americans”  – and, according to the website hosting the campaign, has gotten 4,262 “supporters” to date (with a stated goal of 5,000).

‘Personalized’ Approach

Acknowledging that “personalized comments have the most impact,” the AARP offers the following talking points for consideration:

  • “Millions of Americans like me are counting on our IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts for a secure financial future – and we’ve worked hard to build and grow our savings.”
  • “We should be able to trust our financial advisers to put our interests first. But loopholes in the current law make it easy for many advisers to take advantage of hard-working Americans and line their own pockets with our retirement savings.”
  • “Hidden fees and bad advice costs Americans billions of dollars every year, and we deserve better.”

The talking points conclude with an admonition to “Close this loophole and ensure a higher standard than the currently proposed rule. Hold anyone who gives financial advice genuinely accountable for helping everyday Americans choose the best investments for us, our families, and our future. We don’t need or want a standard that just makes our brokers and bankers richer.”

To date, about 2,800 comments have been received by the SEC on the agency’s Regulation Best Interest proposal, and, at last count, another 4,000 or so on their Standards of Conduct for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers.

The SEC rolled out those proposals in mid-April, and is soliciting comments through Aug. 7.

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