Today, President Trump ordered the Labor Department to needlessly re-examine an Obama administration rule that would require those who provide retirement investment advice to put the interest of their client ahead of their own. The “fiduciary rule” simply requires financial advisers to act in the best interest of their clients, as is the case for doctors and lawyers. It would, for example, prohibit advisors from steering their clients toward lower-performing investments that pay the advisor a commission. The rule also levels the playing field for the many good actors in the retirement advice community who were already providing advice in their clients’ best interest.
Americans deserve advice about their retirement plans untainted by conflicts of interest. The Council of Economic Advisors estimated that, prior to this rule, conflicts of interest in retirement advice were costing American families a staggering $17 billion a year. The fiduciary rule would save affected middle-class families tens of thousands of dollars for their retirement over a lifetime of savings.
The only beneficiary of President Trump’s move to delay this rule is the financial industry. Notably, for a president who has claimed in the past to care about working-class Americans, he will stand today with bankers and Wall Street CEOs to undo a sensible regulation that helps keep average Americans from getting fleeced by unscrupulous financial advisors.
EPI’s Perkins Project on Worker Rights and Wages is a new project to track the Trump administration’s wage, labor, and employment policies, and hold the administration accountable for its record. The Perkins Project will document and fight any attempts to dismantle the laws and regulations that protect and defend American workers.