The broker-dealer exemption to the Investment Adviser Act and Social Security reform are high on the priority list for financial planners.
   That's according to a new survey by the Financial Planning Association, in which members picked the FPA's lawsuit against the Security and Exchange Commission's exemption rule as the number one public-issue priority in 2005.
   Social Security reform placed second, followed by reform of the Alternative Minimum Tax.
   Results of the poll seemingly buttress the FPA's campaign against the broker-dealer exemption, which the SEC has indicated is headed for final approval this year. The FPA and other consumer groups have argued the exemption fails to adequately regulate brokers doling out investment advice. Broker lobbies, meanwhile, say the rule helps stimulate the availability of fee-based services in the brokerage industry.
   "A level playing field in regulation for the financial planning profession obviously remains FPA's number one issue," says Chuck Moran, chair of the FPA's Government Relations Committee. "FPA's legal challenge of a SEC rule that would allow brokers to masquerade as fiduciaries, continues to be a high priority for financial planners."
   About 10% of the FPA's 28,500 members responded to the survey, according to the association.
   Among the other issues placing high on the priority list were tax simplification, opposition to NASD oversight of financial planners and opposition to state sales tax on financial services.