Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Supports Legislation to Improve Fiduciary Rule
Posted February 16, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

As the Department of Labor moves closer to releasing its final fiduciary rule, we reiterated our concerns in a letter supporting several pieces of legislation to improve the rule. We wrote to several Members of Congress to support several pieces of legislation seeking to address bipartisan concerns with the proposed rule. The letter is addressed to Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), as well as Reps. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), all of whom have introduced legislation to address problems with the DOL's proposal.

The DOL's proposal would add brokers and advisors to the definition of "fiduciary" of an employee benefit plan. This could negatively affect credit unions that offer investment services through arrangements with third party brokers if credit unions are swept into overly burdensome compliance hurdles.  We support the broader goal of protecting investors and encouraging all advisors to act in the investor’s best interest. However, we have concerns that the DOL's rule will, in practicality be particularly harmful to low- and middle-income working American families looking for options to save and invest. 

The Retail Investor Protection Act (S. 2497), would delay the DOL's proposal until the Securities and Exchange Commission issues a rule governing standards of conduct for brokers and dealers. We think that this bill, along with its companion H.R. 1090, would provide more clarity and reduce regulatory overlap.

We also support requirements in other pieces of legislation, including the Affordable Retirement Advice Protection Act (H.R. 4293) and the Strengthening Access to Valuable Educations and Retirement Support (SAVERS) Act (S. 2505/H.R. 4294), which would require Congressional approval of the DOL’s final rule.