Senate Bill Aims to Amend ERISA

Senator Johnny Isakson has introduced legislation designed to foil the fiduciary rule and amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The Affordable Retirement Advice Protection Act (HR 4293) introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) takes aim at the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) fiduciary proposal. Now at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the DOL rule is expected to be finalized in the first half of this month.  

Isakson, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, contends the fiduciary rule would limit workers’ access to low-cost financial education and guidance services with “dire consequences for retirement savers, particularly low- and middle-income families.”

According to statements on Isakson’s website, the legislation would raise the investment advice standards outlined in ERISA by adding language to sections 3(21) and 408(b) for the definitions of investment advice and for exemptions relating to the giving of investment advice. Isakson’s site says the amendments would strengthen protections for retirement savers, and require prior approval by Congress of any investment advice rule proposed by the Obama administration.

The proposed legislation describes the fiduciary rule as “costly and cumbersome regulations” that would limit investment advice for lower-income families.

The text of the bill is here.