State Treasurer Beth Pearce Urges U.S. Department of Labor to Protect Consumers and Implement the Fiduciary Standard Rule

16 June 2017

MONTPELIER, Vt.— Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce has joined a bipartisan coalition of State Treasurers from across the country to urge the U.S. Department of Labor to fully implement the Fiduciary Rule to protect citizen investors from potential harm.  

In a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Treasurer Pearce and colleagues cautioned against revising provisions of the Fiduciary Rule: “The retirement savings crisis is growing daily,” the letter states. “We are committed to protecting the financial interest of our constituents – in particular, ensuring that retirement planning and investment advice is not conflicted, and is provided in the sole interest of retirement savers. The Fiduciary Rule is not only a common-sense measure, but a necessary one to protect the public interest.”  

The Fiduciary Rule was first proposed in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Rule sets forth measures to protect consumers from deceptive and potentially destructive investment products. Advocates for the Fiduciary Rule, including Treasurer Pearce, point to a growing number of American citizens that are investing their savings in privately-managed investment products to save for future needs like retirement. Without a clear fiduciary standard for the investment managers and financial advisors providing services to this growing segment of the population, there is a lack of guidance to ensure citizens are protected from financial harm. 

“The United States faces a retirement crisis,” the Treasurers’ letter explains. “As we explore and promote programs and policies, at the state level, that encourage early retirement savings in an effort to help individuals achieve basic retirement security, there will be a growing dependence on sound retirement guidance from professional advisors." 

The Fiduciary Rule went into partial effect on June 9, 2017. The coalition of Treasurers remains hopeful that the full Rule will be implemented to protect consumers. 

“As State Treasurer, I want each and every Vermonter to be able to save so they can live a secure and dignified retirement. The standards upheld by the Fiduciary Rule will give more consumers the confidence to invest their dollars. This is about consumer protection. I urge Labor Secretary Acosta to take action to fully implement the Fiduciary Rule,” Treasurer Pearce concluded. 

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