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Democrats call for more flexibility on fiduciary rule

More members of Congress are weighing in on the Department of Labor's efforts to update a fiduciary standard.

In a letter sent to Secretary Thomas Perez on Thursday, 96 Democrats said they continue to hear from “constituents, academics, providers and investors” that some provisions of the proposed rules could cause market disruptions and limit access to retirement investment advice.

The legislators called for more flexibility on how the DOL addresses exemptions for “best interest” contracts, education and lifetime income options, and a safe harbor for good-faith efforts.

They also asked Mr. Perez to convene a working group of industry and consumer representatives to help achieve a “balanced approach.”

Other members of Congress have urged DOL officials to wait until the Securities and Exchange Commission develops its own fiduciary rule. SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said Wednesday that her staff is actively working on developing a recommendation, but there is no proposal expected soon. Ms. White's announcements came at a meeting of the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies.