Congressional opponents of the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciaryrule remain determined to prevent the agency fromfinalizing the regulation, in spite of a failed effort to stonewallthe rule through the omnibus spending bill.

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Today, Republican and Democrat lawmakers introduced two piecesof legislation that aim to put the fate of the DOL’s rule inCongress’ hands.

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Both proposed laws—The Strengthening Access to ValuableEducation and Retirement Support, or Savers Act, and the AffordableRetirement Advice Protection, or ARAP Act—would require Congress tovote to give the DOL authority to post its fiduciary rule.

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Catch up on all our DOL fiduciary rulecoverage

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If Congress voted to not allow the DOL to finalize its rule,then the two new proposed laws would be enacted.

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The Savers Act would amend the internal revenue code and theARAP Act would amend the Employee Retirement Income SecurityAct.

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Both legislative proposals would raise the bar for allinvestment advisors, assuring they act in clients’ best interests,and penalize those that don’t.

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Each also allows advisors to sell proprietary products, so longas that was disclosed to clients.

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Advisors would have to disclose that “the same or similarinvestments may be available at a different cots (greater orlesser) from other sources,” according to language in both piecesof proposed legislation.

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The new proposed laws are the result of seven fiduciary principles introducedduring the run up to the omnibus spending bill.

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Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Illinois, Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, Rep.Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, and Rep. John Larson, D-Connecticut,all sponsors of the laws, issued a joint statement suggesting thetwo laws are necessary to preserve low and middle-income Americans’access to retirement advice.

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News of the legislative effort prompted statements of supportfrom industry stakeholders.

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Cathy Weatherford, CEO and president of the Insured RetirementInstitute, said:

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“Matters involving the retirement security of millions ofAmericans are far too important for Congress to remain on thesidelines. We support a best interest standard of care forfinancial professionals when recommending investment products, butremain concerned that the DOL’s proposal will restrict and limitaccess to retirement planning advice and result in fewer choicesfor retirement savers.”

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Tim Pawlenty, CEO and president of the Financial ServicesRoundtable, said: “FSR supports a best interest standard for adviceprovided to clients, and we look forward to working with Congressto ensure their legislation achieves the right balance to bothprotect savers from bad actors while preserving their access tofinancial help.”

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And Dale Brown, CEO and president of the Financial ServicesInstitute, said: “We are pleased that a bipartisan effort is beingmade to help Congress fulfill not only its right but its duty toprotect retirement savers. At a time when the possibility of adignified retirement seems out of reach for so many hard-workingAmericans, this legislation is critical, and we urge Congress toact on it quickly. For years, a large, bipartisan swath of Congresshas showed great concern with the impact the Department of Labor’sfiduciary rule will have on small and mid-sized investors. We arehopeful the Department will take Congress’ deep concerns seriouslyand fix this rule before it’s finalized and retirement savers areirreparably harmed.”

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.