Phyllis Borzi, head of the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), fought back on Tuesday against criticisms EBSA has received regarding its controversial regulation amending the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

At the Insured Retirement Institute's (IRI) regulatory conference in Washington, Borzi (left) provided clarity on three areas that she said have drawn significant criticism under the proposed regulation: IRAs, broker commissions and EBSA's collaboration with other agencies, like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Brad Campbell, former head of EBSA, who's now counsel with the law firm Schiff Hardin in Washington, is just one industry official that is critical of applying the fiduciary rule to IRAs. In a recent interview with AdvisorOne, Campbell said that "No where in the [proposed rule's] economic analysis does it mention the impact the [fiduciary] rule would have on the IRA marketplace—[which holds] over $4 trillion of capital."

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Melanie Waddell

Melanie is senior editor and Washington bureau chief of ThinkAdvisor. Her ThinkAdvisor coverage zeros in on how politics, policy, legislation and regulations affect the investment advisory space. Melanie’s coverage has been cited in various lawmakers’ reports, letters and bills, and in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule in 2024. In 2019, Melanie received an Honorable Mention, Range of Work by a Single Author award from @Folio. Melanie joined Investment Advisor magazine as New York bureau chief in 2000. She has been a columnist since 2002. She started her career in Washington in 1994, covering financial issues at American Banker. Since 1997, Melanie has been covering investment-related issues, holding senior editorial positions at American Banker publications in both Washington and New York. Briefly, she was content chief for Internet Capital Group’s EFinancialWorld in New York and wrote freelance articles for Institutional Investor. Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Towson University. She interned at The Baltimore Sun and its suburban edition.