How should retirement investment advice be regulated? Featuring keynote remarks by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
Friday, October 16, 2015, 2:30 — 5:00 PM The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW Washington, DC 20036
The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing to change the legal standards for those providing investment advice to retirement accounts. The department has proposed to limit the conflicts of interests that some advisors face when they receive differential compensation for recommending certain investment products over others. Notably, DOL has proposed making such advisors legally liable (fiduciaries) for the advice they provide, which would limit the conflicts of interest they would face. As more and more American households are being expected to provide for their own retirement, rather than being able to rely on traditional pension plans, these issues are increasingly important. Supporters of this “best interest” standard argue that conflicts of interest have been shown to undermine savers' retirement assets and must be addressed, and that low-balance investors may be better served by signing up for low-cost, model-based advice that is not conflicted. Many in the investment industry, however, believe that the Labor Department’s proposed rules are unworkable, believe that conflicts of interest do not present challenges for savers, and that the proposed changes could make it harder and more expensive for low-income savers to be able to afford the professional guidance they need. On Friday, October 16, the Initiative on Business and Public Policy at Brookings will host an event exploring these issues. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez will keynote the event, and will be joined by two panels of experts from industry, think tanks, and consumer advocates. Participants will take questions from the moderator and audience. The event will be live webcast. Join the conversation via Twitter at #FiduciaryRule.
Martin Neil Baily, Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Development and Director, Initiative on Business and Public Policy, The Brookings Institution
Thomas E. Perez, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
Panel 1: How should the rule be implemented?
Moderator: Josh Gotbaum, Guest Scholar, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution Kent Mason, Partner, Davis & Harman Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, Managing Director, Public Policy & Communications, Certified Financial Planner Board Barbara Roper, Director of Investor Protection, Consumer Federation of America Jim Szostek, Vice President, Taxes & Retirement Security, American Council of Life Insurers
Panel 2: Examining the evidence on conflicts of interest
Moderator: Martin Neil Baily, Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Development and Director, Initiative on Business and Public Policy, The Brookings Institution Sean Collins, Senior Director, Industry and Financial Analysis, Investment Company Institute Jane Dokko, Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution
I am a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, where my work focuses on Social Security policy. Previously I held several positions within the Social Security Administration, including Deputy Commissioner for Policy and principal Deputy Commissioner. Prior to that I was a Social Security Analyst at the Cato Institute. In 2005 I worked on Social Security reform at the White House National Economic Council, and in 2001 I was on the staff of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security. My Bachelor's degree is from the Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. I have Master's degrees from Cambridge University and the University of London and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science. I can be contacted at andrew.biggs @ aei.org.