Bill Bans Fiduciary Rule Without Congressional Approval

A bipartisan group of lawmakers last week introduced legislation that they say will “ensure retirement advisors serve their clients’ best interests and preserve access to quality financial planning.” It would also require an affirmative vote of Congress before the final fiduciary rule from the Labor Department goes into effect.

The Strengthening Access to Valuable Education and Retirement Support (SAVERS) Act, led by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and the Affordable Retirement Advice Protection (ARAP) Act, led by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), also provide that, should Congress fail to approve the department’s regulatory proposal, a new fiduciary standard would take effect that:

  • raises the bar for the entire financial services industry by requiring advisors to serve in their clients’ best interests;
  • roots out bad actors by penalizing financial professionals who violate the trust of their clients;
  • requires advisors to clearly communicate key information to ensure investors are well-informed to make investment choices; and
  • ensures that individuals and families saving for retirement have access to advice and investment options to meet their individual needs and circumstances.

The legislation incorporates a set of principles developed by Republican and Democratic lawmakers earlier this year. Sponsors of the legislation, which also included Reps. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), and John Larson (D-Conn.), noted that by amending the Internal Revenue Code (The SAVERS Act) and ERISA (ARAP Act), the proposals together will “raise investment advice standards for the retirement industry to ensure financial advisers act in the best interests of their clients, while also ensuring low- and middle-income Americans have access to quality, affordable financial advice to help plan for retirement.”

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