NELP Blasts DOL Move Delaying Enforcement of Conflict-of-Interest Rule Another 18 Months

Washington, DC—Today, the U.S. Labor Department issued a final rule delaying for another 18 months the full implementation and enforcement of the conflict-of-interest (fiduciary) rule. Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, issued the following statement in response:

“America’s retirement savers need strong, enforceable protections against conflicts of interest. That’s clear from recent news about retirement savers with TIAA getting steered by their trusted advisors to high-fee products that were not in their best interests.

“In light of financial industry abuses, the Labor Department’s decision to further delay the full implementation and enforcement of the conflict-of-interest rule is a deplorable one.

“This shows whose interests the Trump administration is really looking out for:  the interests of Wall Street, at the expense of retirement savers from Main Street who are often easy prey for the kinds of predatory practices that are all too common in the financial services industry.

“The conflict-of-interest rule is only as strong as its ability to be enforced. But by stripping out the rule’s private enforcement mechanism, and by pushing back enforcement to at least July 2019, the Labor Department is rendering the rule toothless.

“The Department’s actions suggest that it may never allow these crucial provisions to take effect, and that it may be intent on using the additional time to permanently dismantle key aspects of the rule.

“That is just shameful, especially at a time when Americans saving for retirement need all the protection they can get.”

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