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DOL panel presenters debate more disclosure vs. stricter fiduciary rule

Charles Nelson 2009
Charles Nelson

A customer bill of rights would go “a long way toward informing participants” in retirement savings accounts about what they are paying in fees and transaction costs, and would be better than a new fiduciary standard, Charles Nelson, CEO of retirement at Voya Financial, told a Department of Labor panel Tuesday during public hearings on the proposed updated rule.

But Anthony Webb, senior research economist with the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, said that with the fiduciary proposal, “DOL has struck a nice balance” between offering consumers more information, and limiting their choices. On the suggestion of simply requiring more disclosure, Mr. Webb said, “I don't see it working on its own.”

While some presenters warned that the new rule as proposed would shrink the retirement service provider market, Mr. Webb said, the assumptions “are simply not credible. Compared to other countries, this is very much light-touch regulation.”