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Advocacy in action blog

NAIFA appreciates the work of a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers who oppose the Department of Labor’s proposed “Retirement Security” rule that would require a fiduciary-only model for financial services.

Representatives French Hill (R-AR) and David Scott (D-GA) and forty-eight of their colleagues in the House signed a letter to acting DOL Secretary Julie Su and Assistant Secretary Lisa Gomez asking the Department to withdraw its proposal.

The letter points to many of the same flaws in the proposal that NAIFA has called out in meetings with White House officials, public testimony by NAIFA 2023 President Bryon Holz and one of his clients at a DOL hearing, a formal comment letter to the DOL, and discussions with members of Congress.

The proposal to impose a fiduciary-only standard on financial professionals would reduce consumers’ choices, deprive many low- and moderate-income Americans of access to financial services, and ignore federal court rulings that invalidated a previous version of the rule. The letter also notes that the currently enforced SEC Regulation Best Interest and the NAIC’s model for annuity transactions, adopted by 41 states, provide robust consumer protections and require financial professionals to work in their clients’ best interests. This is another argument that NAIFA has made repeatedly.

“NAIFA thanks Representatives Hill and Scott and all of their colleagues who have expressed strong concerns to the Department of Labor about the current proposal,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux. “NAIFA members, who are active in every Congressional District across the United States, have been a resource for lawmakers concerned about the proposal and the impact it would have on American workers and families. We applaud Congress for passing laws such as the SECURE Act and SECURE 2.0 that benefit Americans preparing for retirement. We sincerely hope that the DOL will not take a step backwards by continuing to push the current proposal.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy also wrote to Assistant Secretary Gomez expressing its strong concerns about the proposal. The letter cites NAIFA’s survey showing that over 90% of members believe the proposal will increase the costs of disclosures, record keeping, and staffing.

NAIFA’s grassroots efforts have centered on educating Congress about the harm the DOL proposal will cause. NAIFA members shared their concerns with lawmakers in thousands of emails and letters and in-person meetings with more than 200 Congressional offices during the December NAIFA National Leadership Conference. The proposal will also be a focus of meetings during NAIFA’s Congressional Conference, May 20-21.

NAIFA strongly supports the current system, which requires financial professionals to work in their clients’ best interests, accommodates professionals with multiple business models, and allows consumers to choose how and from whom they receive financial services.