ICI Pushes DoL for More Employee Advice

The Investment Company Institute (ICI) urged the Department of Labor (DoL) to provide workers and retirees with more access to advice and education about managing assets and income in retirement.

ICI testified before a working group of the DoL’s ERISA Advisory Council, highlighting its research that retirees often consult financial advisers, written and online information, and financial software tools when deciding how to manage their defined-contribution plans at retirement, according to statement from the ICI.

“Individuals have vastly different needs for retirement asset and income management, and different products are designed to meet these needs,” said Sarah Holden, ICI’s senior director of retirement and investor research, reported to the Advisory Council. “How they choose to use their retirement assets depends on a number of factors including age, health, and personal and family needs.”

ICI said the DoL should foster the development of education and advice programs to help people weigh these factors and make sound decisions at retirement. To do this, ICI recommends the DoL adopt regulatory policies to facilitate better use of advice programs and further develop educational materials. The institute also recommends the DoL provide more educational resources itself.

“These recommendations are based on the fundamental tenet that the decision of how to take a distribution at retirement is highly individualized,” Holden said in her testimony. “Investors must consider their own personal circumstances and the objectives, limitations, and cost of the options available. The Department of Labor should continue to build upon its efforts to educate individuals about saving and investing, to include materials on making retirement distribution decisions.”