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Full review, changes needed to preserve access to retirement planning available for middle class families

WASHINGTON U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., praised today’s decision by the Trump administration to delay implementation of the Obama administration’s burdensome “fiduciary rule” that would hinder access to retirement planning for middle-income American families.

The rule was scheduled for application on April 10, but will now be delayed by 60 days to June 9 to give the Department of Labor time to fully and thoroughly review how the rule will affect access to retirement advice.   The delay will be published in the Federal Register on April 7.

“Families should have the freedom and opportunity to seek financial advice from qualified professionals as they plan for their retirement,” said Isakson, chairman of the Senate labor subcommittee. “A secure retirement aided by accessible planning is part of our American dream. On behalf of Georgia families, I will not stop fighting this harmful rule until I see it overturned.”

“Today’s decision by the Trump administration is good news for Tennesseans because under the previous administration’s so-called ‘fiduciary’ rule, most retirement planning would be available only to the rich,” said Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee. “I’m glad the administration has decided to delay and study the rule, which would have threatened low- and middle-income Tennesseans’ access to affordable retirement advice and forced them to work longer and retire with less.”

On Feb. 3, 2017, President Trump issued an executive memorandum directing the Department of Labor to delay the rule’s application.‎

Background:

The Department of Labor under former President Obama released its final version of the rule – which rewrites its definition of the word “fiduciary” – on April 6, 2016, despite extensive concerns from a variety of stakeholders.

In response, Isakson and Alexander, along with 40 senators filed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act against the new Department of Labor financial retirement planning rule. On May 24, 2016, the Senate voted 56-41 for Isakson’s resolution of disapproval, but former President Obama vetoed the resolution on June 6, 2017.

Isakson, who has chaired the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety since 2015, previously introduced the Affordable Retirement Advice Protection Act on Feb. 4, 2016. This legislation, which he plans to reintroduce in the coming weeks, would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to establish investment advice standards for the retirement industry and strengthen protections for those saving for retirement.

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