Vice President Joe Biden introduced last week two new rules,which aim to enhance retirement security and transparency forworkers covered by 401(k), pension and other retirementarrangements.

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The rules were announced as part of the Middle Class TaskForce's year-end report.

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According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the first of the tworules would ensure workers receive unbiased advice about how toinvest in their individual retirement accounts or 401(k) plans. Ifthe rule is adopted, it would put in place safeguards preventinginvestment advisors from slanting their advice for their ownfinancial benefit. Investment advisors also would be required todisclose their fees, and computer models used to offer advice wouldhave to be certified as objective and unbiased. The departmentestimates that 2 million workers and 13 million IRA holders wouldbenefit from this rule to the tune of $6 billion.

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The second rule establishes new guidelines on the disclosure offunding and other financial information to workers participating inmultiemployer retirement plans -- those collectively bargained byunions and groups of employers. It will ensure transparency byguaranteeing workers can better monitor the financial condition andday-to-day operations of their retirement investments. The rulewill go into effect in April.

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President Obama launched a Middle Class Task Force in January 2009. Theinitiative, chaired by Biden, is targeted at raising the livingstandards of middle-class, working families through training andeducation, improving work standards and protecting retirementsecurity.

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