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Warren Ups War of Words in 401k Fiduciary Fight

Earnings calls reveal 'companies were well-prepared for the rule's implementation'

401k, Elizabeth Warren, retirementYou never know who's listening.

Elizabeth Warren, the Senate’s favorite scribe, fired off yet another letter last week, this time to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, urging the latter to implement the fiduciary rule post haste.

She cited comments made by financial services companies during earnings calls to bolster her case, noting “that they are prepared to comply with the rule in its current form and that many believe it to be in the best interests of their customers.”

In typical Warren fashion, she provided text from some of the companies’ calls, many of whom she previously pressed the SEC to investigate specifically for their comments made about the fiduciary rule.

  • “We think that the idea of, of course, doing what’s in the best interest of the customer is what’s kept us in business for 100 years and it’s a good idea.” – Lincoln Financial President, CEO, and Director Dennis Glass
  • “Regarding the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule, Ameriprise and our advisors were well prepared for the June 9th implementation….” – Ameriprise Financial, Inc. Chairman and CEO Michael Cracchiolo
  • “…We implemented the first installation…And we think that actually is going to be positive overall in terms of the impact to the business divisions….” – UBS Group CEO and President of the Executive Board Sergio Ermotti

The letter follows the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposal to further delay the Fiduciary Rule’s full applicability, including the Best Interest Contract exemption, from January 2018 until July 2019.

“Such a delay would endanger billions of dollars in Americans’ hard-earned retirements savings, and, if you enact the delay, it would ignore the preparation and positive outlook on the rule that many financial services and insurance companies have repeatedly expressed,” Warren wrote. “As millions of Americans diligently save for a secure retirement, only to have their hard-earned savings squandered by conflicted advisers to the tune of $17 billion per year, workers need you to stand in their corner and fully implement this rule as soon as possible.”

Warren added that lobbyists for the financial services and insurance industries have repeatedly made “alarmist claims about the rule’s effects on businesses and investors.”

However, the earnings calls “reveal that companies were well-prepared for the rule’s implementation, compliance is not overly burdensome, and the rule was consistent with companies’ goals of putting their clients’ interests first.

2 Comments on "Warren Ups War of Words in 401k Fiduciary Fight"

  1. This woman lives in a world that mere mortals can’t imagine. She is deluded at a level that defies description or logic. She is apoplectic that her political brainchild is both being recognized and now dealt with as the ridiculous political football that it is. Elizabeth Warren hasn’t a clue or a care concerning “hard working Amrricans” saving for retirement. The only thing that matters to this jabbering multi millionaire is pandering for the next vote. She is s poster child for why people have no respect for politicians anymore.

  2. The industry has spent over 38 Billion dollars getting ready for this law change. It harms the young people and the young couples for they cannot come up with the new minimums to start a retirement account. The law has also driven out the competition of low fee choices to the small investor.

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