OTEers know I’ve long been concerned about economic security in retirement among aging Americans whose limited earnings and savings threaten to generate inadequate income replacement rates once they’ve aged out of the workforce.
That’s one reason for my frequent scribblings on behalf of the new “fiduciary rule,” limiting conflicts of interest among financial advisors providing investment advice for retirement savers. Jeff Sommer has a useful piece in the NYT on this and other matters, making many good points but glossing over one very important one.
First, the gloss. Thanks to some seriously stiff spines by Democrats in the White House and Congress, conservatives’ efforts to block the rule have thus far been thwarted. The rule—which basically requires retirement savings advisors to put their clients’ interests first—starts phasing in about a year from now, i.e., early in the next president’s first term.
But you notice how I keep calling this a “rule,” not legislation? Congress didn’t pass this into law, of course (that would be way too functional), so the next president can change the rule on day one. It would actually take some time to unwind it—there’s a process that would take months—but it could be stopped before it started.More ...