An eclectic group of presenters brought the fourth and final day of hearings on the Department of Labor's proposed conflict-of-interest rule to a close. Presenters included representatives from a retirement service provider, lower-cost financial adviser firms, a national brokerage, managed funds trade group, securities market coalition and others.
Lynn Dudley, senior vice president for global retirement and compensation policy at the American Benefits Council, praised DOL officials for listening carefully to all parties' points of view. Ms. Dudley said that canvassing her plan executive members, one of their biggest concerns is how they can help educate employees about retirement savings goals and investment choices, without violating a stricter new standard. She suggested DOL officials add some safe-harbor provisions to reassure executives they can continue with education efforts.
At the conclusion of the unprecedentedly long hearings, Timothy Hauser, deputy assistant secretary of labor for program operations, said all presenters had been “enormously helpful” and informative.
“We are really taking all of your comments into account. … We have what we think is essentially a common goal, (that retirement savers) can count on receiving advice that is in their best interests. After four days of hearings, there are many views on how best to achieve that goal, and how best to even articulate that goal,” Mr. Hauser said.
Transcripts of the hearings should be published in the Federal Register in two weeks, Mr. Hauser said. The public comment period will remain open, before next steps are decided.