I just got this note from the Department of Labor about the new FAQs on the “Conflict of Interest” rules, which basically apply more stringent ERISA requirements to those who provide investment advice to retirement plans and IRAs. Here is what the note says:
You have been following the Labor Department’s Conflict of Interest project on retirement investment advice for some time – perhaps even since the original proposal in October of 2010. The new consumer protections start to go into effect this April and we want to be sure that consumers have the information they need to make use of those new protections. We also want to answer as many questions as possible about the new rules. To that end, we are releasing a set of frequently asked questions meant especially for workers and retirement investors.
Smart regulation, by its very nature, has to be useful to those it is meant to help. The information being published today is a resource for those who have questions about the new rules, how they may change their relationship with their financial advisor, or how they may help them determine whether or not a particular advisor is right for them.
Best-interest advice is a crucial component of a dynamic, profitable, investment marketplace that meets the needs of workers and retirees. The Conflict of Interest Rule offers consumers a new level of confidence when working with investment advisors, and levels the playing field for the many advisors who have been giving best interest advice all along.
The new set of consumer FAQs can be found here, https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/faqs/consumer-protections-for-retirement-investors-your-rights-and-financial-advisers.pdf
Phyllis C. Borzi
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security
US Department of Labor