How Trump's Retirement Advice Executive Order Could Affect Your Retirement

Shaun O-Brien AFL-CIO

Last week, President Donald Trump ordered the Department of Labor to reconsider the Obama administration's retirement savings protections due to begin taking effect in April, with an eye toward revising or completely eliminating them. 

Remember, these protections are based on two core ideas. First, if you are a retirement investor, your best interests should come first—they should not take a back seat to the financial interests of your financial adviser. Second, how your adviser gets paid cannot conflict with your best interests.  

How likely is the Trump administration to cut back on these retirement protections? Based on the comments of White House press secretary Sean Spicer, it sounds like they already have made up their minds either to cut or eliminate them. Spicer called the rule “a solution in search of a problem.” 

What could eliminating these protections mean for you?

1.  You may lose hard-earned retirement money. The Labor Department created the new retirement investor protections because lots of evidence showed working people and retirees were paying a huge price for conflicted investment advice through higher fees and worse returns. If you continue to live with that conflicted advice, you could end up with about 25% less in retirement money over 35 years of investing than if you were getting recommendations from someone who is paid to work in your best interest. This easily could amount to tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars less for you when you retire.  Or, you might have to work longer to make up for it. 

 2. You won't automatically be able to trust your retirement investment adviser.  Trusting the wrong person to help you make good decisions about your retirement investments can cause you deep and permanent financial harm. If the Trump administration gets rid of or weakens the retirement investor protections, it will continue to be your job to figure out whom you can trust—that is, who is a “fiduciary” legally required to act in your best interest versus who is just a salesperson getting paid with commissions and kickbacks.

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Reposted from the AFL-CIO.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From AFL-CIO

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work