Two events in Washington, D.C., this week reignited the debate about the responsibilities of those giving investment advice or operating retirement plans. The outcomes could influence what standards are used to determine if investors’ interests are being placed first.
On Monday, President Obama proposed tougher standards on brokers handling retirement funds. He called for requiring “retirement advisers to put their client’s best interest first, by expanding the types of retirement investment advice subject to ERISA.” ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and expanding it would be mean stricter standards for brokers. Among the stricter standards that are part of Obama’s proposal is making advisers “abide by a ‘fiduciary’ standard.”