H.R. 2823, the “Affordable Retirement Advice for Savers Act,” is being sold as a more workable alternative to the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest (or “fiduciary”) rule, which it would repeal. In fact, this bill would leave retirement savers with fewer protections than they enjoyed before the DOL rule was finalized. It must not be enacted.
H.R. 2823 would strip away protections from working families and retirees just as the DOL fiduciary rule is beginning to deliver the best interest advice they expect and deserve. Since the rule was finalized a little over a year ago, firms of all types and sizes have announced implementation plans that prove that the rule is both workable and working as intended to rein in conflicts, improve investment products, and reduce investor costs, all while preserving access to advice for even the smallest accountholders. Indeed, since brokers and insurance agents are now required to provide fiduciary advice and not just self-interested sales recommendations dressed up as advice, retirement savers’ access to genuine advice has been dramatically expanded as a result of the rule. The only thing standing between retirement savers and the full benefits of the rule is uncertainty over its fate caused by both the ongoing reconsideration of the rule by DOL and by legislative efforts such as this.