NAIFA Advocacy Pays Off: Court Rules in Favor of NAIFA, ACLI, and Others in DOL Fiduciary Rule Suit

Dear friends,

When the Department of Labor first hinted that it planned to implement a new fiduciary regulation for retirement planning advisors, NAIFA advocacy was ready. We have been there every day, every hour, working with members of Congress, regulators from two administrations, and the federal courts to ensure that the rule did not destroy your business or prevent lower- or middle-income Americans from getting retirement products and advice.
 
The hard work of our staff and members like you, along with the efforts of our industry partners, paid off time and again as regulators blunted some harmful provisions in early DOL proposals and delayed implementation of others.  
 
When it was obvious that even after our efforts the DOL’s regulation would harm advisors and consumers, we left no stone unturned. We leveraged all three branches of government, Congress, the administration, and the courts, working hand-in-hand with the American Council of Life Insurers and other partners to speak on behalf of our industry and protect your clients.
 
Last night, we won our most important victory yet! The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of NAIFA, the ACLI, NAIFA-Texas, and several of our locals in North Texas and has vacated the DOL fiduciary rule. This means regulations that would have made it difficult or impossible for advisors to serve clients with modest or moderate means are not just delayed, but are null and void.
 
This is a historic win for NAIFA. It is a historic win for the financial services industry. Most importantly, it is a historic win for advisors and their clients.
 
When the ruling was announced, NAIFA members voiced their approval.
 
“Thanks to our wonderful advocacy team at NAIFA. Proud to be a member!” said NAIFA member Ed Anderson on Facebook.
 
“Good things come to he who waits ... & perseveres! Thanks NAIFA for your perseverance & advocacy fortitude!” said Joe Anthes, also on Facebook.
 
More Work to Be Done
 
NAIFA members remain as dedicated as ever to working in their clients’ best interests, and NAIFA supports rules to ensure all advisors adhere to that standard. Our advocacy efforts focused on the DOL regulation were never about that. Our point all along has been that it should not take 1,000 plus pages of confusing regulatory language imposing overwhelming burdens on advisors and their clients to achieve that goal. A regulation should obviously not harm the people it sets out to protect.
 
As the court’s ruling states, “When Congress has acted with a scalpel, it is not for the
agency to wield a cudgel.”
 
NAIFA will now work with the Securities and Exchange Commission as it develops a best interest standard that we hope will provide consumers with protection without creating unintentional barriers between advisors and their clients. Last week, NAIFA President Keith Gillies and I met with SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to discuss NAIFA’s support for a “best-interest” standard of care for advisors and the potential impacts of SEC regulations on advisors and their clients.
 
We will have additional meetings with the remaining SEC commissioners soon, and advisors attending the NAIFA Congressional Conference, May 22-23, in Washington, D.C., will discuss the best interest standard with their members of Congress.
 
It’s a great day when NAIFA members are able to see firsthand how NAIFA membership protects their business. Our strength is in our numbers and in the passion and dedication of advisors like you. This is why your membership is so important. Thank you for being a part of this historic win.
 
Best regards,
 
Kevin Mayeux
 
  • Posted March 16, 2018 IN


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