Too Short a Review, One Group Says

As expected, financial services advocacy groups have plenty to say on the proposed fiduciary rule by the Department of Labor (DOL).

The DOL rule, now in the comment period, addresses how financial advisers and broker/dealers can sell investment products and deliver investment advice to consumers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The Financial Services Institute (FSI) expressed disappointment with the amount of time—50 days—that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) took to review the rule, which they called “highly controversial.” The rule could negatively impact millions of investors, the FSI said in a statement that cited the office taking an average 117 days to review DOL rules.

“Over 200 bipartisan members of Congress have told the DOL and the administration to carefully consider the impact of the proposal on investor access to retirement advice, products and services,” Dale Brown, president and chief executive of FSI, said in a statement. “Most expected the OMB would take as long as necessary to ensure that any final rule avoids serious unintended consequences for Main Street investors. We have serious concerns that could have happened in only 50 days.”

The Financial Planning Coalition called the proposed rule an important step in updating regulation going back to ERISA to provide greater protections for Americans and their retirement nest eggs. “The financial advice Americans are given related to their retirement savings should always be squarely in their best interest, and should not undermine their efforts to meet financial goals,” a coalition spokesman said in a statement. “The DOL’s rulemaking should proceed without further delay to full and open public evaluation and comment.”

The Financial Planning Coalition comprises the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

FSI advocates on behalf of independent financial advisers and independent financial services firms.