March 17, 2017 / 9:43 PM / 9 months ago

Group of 40 U.S. House Democrats oppose delay of Labor Dept retirement rule

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Forty House Democrats, led by the party’s top member of the House of Representatives Financial Services committee Maxine Waters, voiced opposition on Friday to a U.S. Labor Department proposal to delay the start of a controversial retirement regulation.

In a letter sent on the final day of the proposal’s roughly two-week-long comment period, the group said that a 60-day delay of the DOL’s fiduciary rule would deprive workers and families from unbiased financial advice.

Set to take effect on April 10, the fiduciary rule requires retirement advisers to put the interests of clients ahead of their own.

Some of Wall Street’s largest brokerages have already leveled the commissions charged on certain investment tools, in an effort to eliminate any unintended incentive for advisers to select one fund over another. Other brokerages have begun to phase out commissions-paying retirement accounts altogether.

Despite that preparation, which began in earnest last year, President Donald Trump asked the Labor Department in February to re-examine the cost of implementing the rule. The Labor Department proposed the delay to give themselves time to conduct such an economic and legal analysis.

“It is unacceptable that now--roughly a month before implementation of the final rule is scheduled to begin--the DOL is carelessly proposing to delay it,” the Democrats wrote in their letter, noting the regulation was the product of six years of research and negotiation.

“Workers and retirement savers deserve better and have waited long enough,” the group wrote.

Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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