WASHINGTON – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president and director of policy at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the Department of Labor’s release of a fiduciary rule that requires all financial advisors who give retirement investment advice to act in the best interest of their clients. The rule closes loopholes that allowed financial advisors to collect kickbacks and backdoor payments for steering their clients into shoddy investment plans:
“This common sense rule will ensure that when working Americans turn to financial professionals for help, they will get honest advice that’s in their best interest—not a self-serving sales pitch. We applaud the Administration and Secretary Perez for taking this much-needed step in improving an outdated system that has cost working and middle-class families billions of dollars in retirement savings due to biased, unethical financial advice.
This long overdue rule will protect Americans from the conflicts of interest that allowed advisors to reap excessive profits and kickbacks while costing retirement savers more than $17 billion a year. Today’s announcement will help all Americans—whether they can save a little or a lot—retire with dignity.
The racial wealth gap in our nation continues to grow, and we must use all of our resources to enact policies like the fiduciary rule that work to close that gap rather than to widen it. Those who oppose the fiduciary rule because of claims that it will prevent communities of color from accessing low-cost financial advisers should instead applaud the removal of self-interested hucksters preying on our communities and redirect their energy to putting pressure on the industry to provide services that are both accessible and free from conflicts of interest.
We urge Congress to reject the efforts of those who would block implementation of this rule and strip American working people of the basic protections they deserve.”
Nancy Zirkin is the executive vice president and director of policy at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.