Bill Looks to Shield IRAs from DOL’s Fiduciary Reach

By ASPPA Net Staff • November 11, 2015 • 0 Comments
Another bill looking to derail the Department of Labor’s fiduciary proposal has been introduced in Congress.

This one, the Retirement Choice Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 3922), was introduced by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) — a member of the House Ways and Means Committee — with Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-Texas). According to a press release, the legislation would provide a workable “best interest” standard to the DOL’ proposed rule on fiduciary standards.

The bill would transfer authority for individual retirement plans to the Secretary of the Treasury, and outlines a best interest standard for advice fiduciaries regarding IRAs and non-ERISA plans.

Last month Kelly, the Republican chairman of the House Retirement Security Caucus, co-authored a joint letter with Johnson to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (and signed by 103 members of Congress) to express concerns that the proposed fiduciary rule “will severely disrupt the availability of affordable financial education and investment advice while also restricting product choice and retirement security for many American families” and to urge the secretary to implement “substantial changes” to fix the rule’s shortcomings.

This is just the latest of several varied moves by legislators to curb, caution or cure the perceived potential ills of the DOL’s fiduciary proposal. In addition to the letter cited above, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation that would block the DOL from finalizing its fiduciary proposal until the Securities and Exchange Commission weighs in, though by nearly completely partisan lines. And nearly 50 House members recently sent a letter to Perez requesting that the DOL open a 15-30 day comment period prior to finalizing the fiduciary proposal.