For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is pleased with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) finalized fiduciary rule, but remains skeptical on if plan sponsors will incur additional costs or hurdles to provide retirement products. ERIC – the only national association advocating exclusively for the employee benefit interests of the nation’s largest employers –previously submitted comments to the DOL requesting changes to the proposed rule to assist large employers in being able to effectively educate their employees on retirement plan investments.
“ERIC is pleased that the Department of Labor adopted a number of our requests to ensure plan sponsors could continue to provide effective education materials on the importance of retirement savings and protect employees from being deemed a fiduciary who merely discuss the investment options with other employees,” said Will Hansen, Senior Vice President of Retirement Policy, ERIC. “What remains to be seen is how the financial industry will respond to this new rule and whether it will negatively impact the ability to obtain advice or increase the cost of such advice. What is clear is that all interested parties in the retirement system are hopeful the rule will strengthen access to a secure retirement for Americans.”
The new rule includes several of ERIC’s requests, including conversations between employees, if the employee is not a fiduciary to the plan, does not constitute investment advice and clarification that a suggestion, without an action associated with the suggestion, from someone not paid as a fiduciary does not qualify as a recommendation. The rule was also revised, as ERIC requested, to allow the plan sponsor to provide educational investment materials to employees, so long as the materials are selected and monitored by the plan fiduciary.