U.S. Rep. French Hill yesterday said he endorsed the announced delay in an Obama-era regulation known as the fiduciary rule, which he said would limit access to retirement planning. His statement follows, and then comes some editorial commentary from the New York Times on Trump administration junking of this consumer-protection rule.
People who already have retirement plans also have cause for worry. On Wednesday, the Labor Department carried out Mr. Trump’s directive to delay the April 10 effective date of a federal rule that requires financial advisers to put a client’s interest before their own when giving advice or selling investments related to 401(k) rollovers and other retirement transactions. The rule, known as the “best interest” or “fiduciary” standard, would protect 401(k) savers from being steered into overly expensive strategies and products when they retire. All of these rules were carefully researched and written. All are much needed. And all are being tampered with for one reason only: The financial industry does not want them because it makes tens of billions of dollars a year under a status quo in which its products and practices are the only game in town for retirement savers. This means that what congressional Republicans and Mr. Trump are doing is looking for ways to line Wall Street’s pockets with the retirement savings of working people.
Hill is a former financial industry executive who once headed a Little Rock bank.