07.19.17

Committee Republicans Pass Flawed Bill Eliminating Key Protection for Workers and Retirement Savers

WASHINGTON – Today, the Committee on Education and the Workforce held a markup on H.R. 2823, the so-called The Affordable Retirement Advice for Savers Act. This legislation repeals the fiduciary rule that simply ensures workers are not ripped-off when investing their hard-earned retirement savings and proposes an alternative full of loopholes that would drastically weaken consumer protections.

The bill being marked-up today repeals the fiduciary rule and proposes a far weaker, loophole-ridden standard that unscrupulous advisors could easily skirt by simply issuing boilerplate written disclaimers or disclosures,” said Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03). “Repeal of the fiduciary rule will not create jobs, will not strengthen working families, and will not restore balance to the economy – but it will endanger workers’ hard-earned retirement savings‎.”

Committee Democrats believe disclosures and disclaimers are no substitute for a meaningful, enforceable fiduciary standard. In fact, research shows that people who are given disclaimers and disclosures are even more likely to believe their advisors are acting in the best interest of their clients.

“Financial advisors should be acting in the best interests of their clients, not pushing products that will boost their own fees,” said Vice Ranking Member Suzanne Bonamici. “The Conflict of Interest Rule returned confidence to Americans who worked hard throughout their lives and now want to invest their savings so they can enjoy a secure retirement. I’m disappointed that the Republicans on the Committee are actively working to dismantle this commonsense consumer protection. Congress should be focused on expanding opportunities for Americans to save for a secure retirement, not undermining them.”

Committee Democrats stand ready to work on meaningful solutions to help Americans earn and collectively bargain for decent wages, achieve a better balance between work and family life, end workplace discrimination, and retire with security and dignity.

“The only people protected by this repeal are financial advisors who put their own interests before the interest of their clients,” said Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Ranking Member Gregorio Sablan (NMI-AL).

OPENING STATEMENT: Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03)

FACT SHEET: Fiduciary Rule: Republican Rhetoric vs. Industry Reality

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Press Contact

Kiara Pesante, 202-226-0853 (Scott)

Maggie Rousseau, 202-754-1649 (Bonamici)

Bob Schwalbach, 202- 225-2646 (Sablan)