WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2016—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) praises the U.S. Senate for passing H.J. Res. 88, sponsored by Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee). The resolution is part of an effort to block the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule under the Congressional Review Act. H.J. Res 88 previously passed the House of Representatives in April.
“Simply put, the fiduciary rule will result in less consumer choice,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “The rule places overly burdensome requirements on Big ‘I’ members who offer retirement advice related to many IRAs, 401(k)s and HSAs, which will result in retirement advice becoming more costly and complicated for the middle class.”
The DOL rule, which was released on April 6, tightens conflict of interest rules under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The DOL did make some changes to simplify the rule in its final proposal, however, substantial concerns remain that the rule will significantly increase compliance costs, oversight costs and legal exposure for independent insurance agents and brokers. The increased costs and exposure will likely act to limit access to advice for those consumers who need it most.
"This damaging rule is expected to start taking effect in April 2017 and be fully implemented by Jan. 1, 2018, barring congressional or legal action,” continues Symington. “The Big ’I’ is grateful for the Senate’s action on this important resolution.”
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.