Playing catch-up here with a September 14th InvestmentNews story on the fate of a Bush-era proposal concerning the delivery of advice to retirement plan participants. Here's Sara Hansard's opening riff:
The Department of Labor is killing a regulatory change issued in the last days of the Bush administration that would have allowed brokers affiliated with mutual funds, brokerage firms and other companies that sell investments to provide investment advice to 401(k) participants.
With legislation pending in the House, and the possibility of similar provisions emerging from the Senate, it's likely that the current Congress will act on the question of independent advice. The immensity of the health care reform effort has pushed other things aside for a while, but even if it happens in 2010, and whether it's a product of Congress or the DOL or both, the rules on advice are going to change.
Meaningful legislation on independent advice would help our firm, but our support for these ideas doesn't follow from our firm's position in the marketplace. Instead it's the other way around: Our support for these ideas explains our firm's position, as we wouldn't be in this business if we couldn't do it with absolute independence.
This is a story worth following.
Sara Hansard, "Labor Department nixes Bush OK to let brokers advice 401(k) plans," InvestmentNews, September 14th, 2009