Amid rumors that the Trump Administration will act soon to delay, then kill, the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule, evidence continues to mount that the rule is already delivering enormous benefits to retirement savers. These benefits come in the form of promised reductions in the toxic conflicts that encourage harmful advice and reduced costs for both investment products and investment advice. The rule, which is due to be implemented in April, is achieving these beneficial results without sacrificing retirement savers’ access to advice or choice in how to pay for that advice. This is good news for those who were understandably concerned by industry claims that the rule would harm less wealthy retirement savers.
With tens of billions of dollars in profits at stake, however, the powerful financial interests opposed to the rule are not going down without a fight. Energized by last November’s election results, financial industry lobbyists have renewed their attacks on the rule. In addition to pursuing lawsuits seeking to overturn the rule in court, they have both urged the Trump Administration and backed legislation to first delay and then kill the rule. Members of Congress who believe working Americans and retirees deserve retirement investment advice that serves their best need to stand firm in opposition to these efforts.