Big “I” Applauds Committee Action on Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule
Bills seek to ensure available and affordable financial advice for all investors.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 2, 2016 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Workforce Committee for passing H.R. 4294, the “Strengthening Access to Valuable Education and Retirement Support Act,” spearheaded by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Illinois), and H.R. 4293, the “Affordable Retirement Advice Protection Act,” led by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tennessee). The bills help ensure that the investment marketplace will continue to be widely available and affordable to all types of investors.
"As currently structured, the rule being promulgated by the Department of Labor (DOL) promises to create undue compliance burdens and increased liability for the Big ‘I’s’ small business membership,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “This will increase costs for many consumers and restrict access to quality investment advice for those most in need."
The bills would prohibit the DOL from amending the current fiduciary investment advice definition without Congressional approval. Both bills would establish a “best interest” standard for investment advice and would adopt elements of the current DOL proposal, but with a number of necessary modifications. Each also allows advisors to sell proprietary products, so long as that was disclosed to clients.
"Release of the final DOL rule is expected in the next few months, and these bills are a common sense solution to ensure that affordable and accessible investment advice will continue to be available to all investors,” continues Symington. “The Big ’I’ is grateful for the Committee’s swift consideration of these measures.”
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.