The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors is urging the U.S. Department of Labor to resist lobbying bent on weakening rules that have been proposed for the regulation of financial advisors.
Napfa urged support for the proposed changes in response to a letter from a group of Congressional Democrats and the Financial Services Institute to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis opposing the proposed rules.
"Reducing consumer confusion about who comes first when advice is given can only be a good thing. Napfa believes that the DOL should move forward with a fiduciary standard immediately and have the appropriate discussions about the fiduciary standard rules as a part of the process," said Susan John, chairperson of Napfa.
Napfa has proposed five specific details that should be included in the rules:
The term "fiduciary advisor" should be confined to those receiving appropriate fee compensation.
Disclosures about fees and costs should be provided at the point of decision making and be simple and easy to compare.
Similar disclosures should be prepared for products other than mutual funds.
Fees, costs and conflicts of interest disclosures should be provided in the summary plan description.
The DOL's fiduciary definition should be developed in conjunction with the SEC so that multiple meanings of the term do not confuse consumers.
"Americans saving for retirement simply cannot afford to go another year without a true fiduciary standard in place," John said.