Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has sent a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta asking him to implement the fiduciary rule in full, and not press forward with a delay of its partial applicability from January 2018 to July 2019.
A delay, she wrote "would endanger billions of dollars in Americans' hard-earned retirement savings and ignore the preparation and positive outlook on the rule that many financial services and insurance companies have repeatedly expressed."
In her letter, she cited the earnings calls of many of those financial companies in which they indicated that they are prepared to comply with the rule in its current form and that many believe it to be in the best interests of their customers. She cited those comments in contrast to the companies' "alarmist" lobbying efforts in which they argue that the rule would create "major — and in some cases insurmountable — obstacles" for advisers and that the rule "has already resulted in dislocations and disruptions of retirement services."
In a separate letter, Sen. Warren asked Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton to review this evidence as the SEC solicits public comment on rule-making in a similar area.
Sen. Warren also cited a new Morningstar report outlining a number of positive changes that companies already have made in response to the rule, including the introduction of innovative products that will lower fees, increase returns and "benefit investors by reducing conflicts of interest and adding transparency."