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Advocacy in action blog

The Department of Labor thinks it knows what's best for Americans preparing for retirement. NAIFA President Bryon Holz, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, CASL, LACP, and his long-time client Chuck Ross think the DOL is wrong and bring their real-life experience to the argument.

holz toughBryon and Chuck offered a unique perspective when they testified at a DOL public hearing that the Department's latest fiduciary proposal will harm consumers. Unlike any of the other witnesses, Bryon and Chuck have been working together for decades as advisor and client.

Their real-world experience – Bryon was already a seasoned professional when the DOL first imposed its fiduciary rule in 2016 and he saw its impact firsthand – brought authentic voices to the DOL proceeding and complimented the testimony of industry lobbyists.

Real-World Impact

Bryon testified that consumers are best served when they can choose how and from whom they receive financial services. The current DOL proposal would force many advisors to move to a fee-for-service model tailored to higher-income clients. It ignores that some clients are better served by existing models.

Chuck RossChuck offered his own case as an example. When he began preparing for retirement, he had limited assets and very likely would not have been able to work with Bryon had the DOL proposal been in place.

"By moving forward with this Proposed Rule, the Department is ignoring the negative impact this rule will have on lower- and middle-income savers and the real-world experience that NAIFA members saw firsthand before the 2016 Fiduciary Rule was vacated," Holz testified.

NAIFA, along with the American Council of Life Insurers, initiated a lawsuit challenging the earlier DOL fiduciary rule. A federal appeals court in 2018 vacated that rule. The DOL's current proposal shares many of the flaws of its predecessor.

NAIFA members develop relationships with clients based on trust and results. Even Timothy D. Hauser, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program Operations of the DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), acknowledged the impact of Bryon and Chuck's testimony. "It's one thing for people in the business to testify but it's another for one of your clients to step forward. Thank you."

A Fight We Have to Win

With so much at stake, NAIFA strongly urges the DOL to withdraw its recycled rule. We are working with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and urging their opposition, as well. We will continue to oppose the DOL proposal and explore all options to preserve consumers' ability to choose from a variety of financial service models.

There are things you can do to help: