ACLI urges Labor Department to replace fiduciary rule

The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) recently urged the U.S. Department of Labor to revoke and replace its fiduciary for retirement advice, which went into partial effect June 9.

The DOL’s rule requires financial advisers to act as fiduciaries and serve in the best interests of their clients in retirement accounts.

In its response to the department’s request for information on July 6, James Szostek and Howard Bard, vice presidents, Taxes and Retirement Security at ACLI, said the regulation has caused “significant market changes that now deny consumers access to advice.”

ACLI said its “overly broad” definition of a fiduciary inappropriately applies to ordinary sales and marketing activities and “constrains education and information about retirement planning options.”

The group adds that the regulation’s bias against commission-based compensation arrangements has already restricted access to annuities.

ACLI advised the department to coordinate with the Securities and Exchange Commission and state insurance regulators.

“A coordinated and harmonized regulatory approach is necessary and in the best interest of retirement savers,” ACLI said.

The department is currently examining the regulation as directed by the President Trump’s Feb. 3, 2017, memorandum. ACLI had already submitted comments on July 21 seeking a one-year delay in the Jan. 1, 2018, implementation date for the remaining aspects of the regulation while the department completes its examination.