Earlier this week, we explained how the latest Obama administration regulation, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule, could hurt hardworking Americans trying to save for their retirement.
Now, it seems that harm to the financial planning industry and the Americans they serve could have been avoided—had the Obama administration listened to its own experts.
A new report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chaired by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), “The Labor Department’s Fiduciary Rule: How a Flawed Process Could Hurt Retirement Savers,” shows the DOL’s utter—and seemingly willful—neglect of the consequences of this rule.
It’s a story we’ve heard before. Nonpartisan, professional experts raise concerns, ask for deliberation in the rulemaking process, while politically-appointed bureaucrats bully their way through the process with one thing in mind: a finalized regulation to finish while the president is still in office.
In this case, DOL promised to coordinate with other independent federal agencies, but those agencies apparently raised too many concerns on behalf of taxpayers (in the case of the nonpartisan Security and Exchange Commission—26 problems!)
How did the DOL respond? See for yourself:
DOL Employee: “We have now gone far beyond the point where your input was helpful to me. . . . If you have nothing new to bring up, please stop emailing me.”
SEC Employee: “I am now also utterly confused as to what the purpose of the proposed DOL rule is.”
These and more troubling items, can be read here.
Whatever the original intent of the fiduciary rule was, it got trampled by blindsided bureaucratic ambitions. The Obama administration should stop its rule before it is finalized. The cost to American savers is too high.
Congress is committed to fulfilling its oversight role in order to protect American savers, and ensure that the federal government is stopped from putting their financial independence and retirement plans in jeopardy.