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New bill links 401(k) matches to student loan payments

May 14, 2019

A bill that includes a provision to make it easier for companies to contribute to the retirement accounts of employees who are paying down student debt was reintroduced in the Senate this week. Among other changes, such as stepping up the age...

Building dialogue with lawmakers to advance women's careers

May 3, 2019

As our members know, the Financial Services Institute is firmly committed to championing the cause of helping more female professionals not only enter, but achieve lasting success within the financial advice industry. The formation of the House...

Congress should let innovation fuel lifetime income projections

April 30, 2019

It's great to see Congress and regulatory agencies taking an interest in promoting and encouraging greater access to lifetime income projections in 401(k)s and other retirement plans. That such projections should be mandated as a one-size-fits-all...

Wells Fargo spends big on lobbying, as pressure from Capitol Hill mounts

April 26, 2019

Wells Fargo spent more on lobbying Congress in the first quarter than any other commercial bank or investment firm. The company spent $1.2 million on lobbying in Q1, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. That put it second...

Insurance lobby plans blitz to get retirement bills through Congress quickly

April 24, 2019

Insurance trade associations are set to launch a campaign to gain approval for retirement-savings bills by August to ensure they don't stall again as attention turns to the 2020 election. The American Council of Life Insurers is coordinating...

Higher tax bills following reform surprise clients

April 23, 2019

Investment advisers say their clients were surprised by higher tax bills and lower refunds this year, a shock increased by their expectations of less pain due to tax reform. Under the 2017 tax reform law, marginal tax rates were cut and the...

Most Americans got a tax cut and didn't notice

April 15, 2019

Republicans passed a sweeping tax cut for two-thirds of Americans in 2017, saying it would pay for itself and the American public would thank them. Now, as Americans finish filing their taxes to the IRS for the first time under the new system,...

'Wall Street Tax Act' will land on Main Street investors

April 11, 2019

Last month, Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., introduced the Wall Street Tax Act in the Senate and the House, respectively. The bill would level a tax of 10 basis points (or 0.1%) on the value of the securities transferred...

Congress, states poised to upend retirement policy

April 8, 2019

Congressional and state politicians are poised to re-engineer the country's retirement system in ways that could have drastic effects on plan advisers and their clients by requiring employers to offer a workplace retirement plan or by instituting...

Top Democrat proposes revival of plan to eliminate capital gains loopholes

April 3, 2019

The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, Ron Wyden, is reviving a plan that would tax wealthy individuals annually on their investments, instead of when those assets are sold. (More:​ Financial advisers take issue with Democratic...

California wins auto-IRA lawsuit

April 2, 2019

California's auto-IRA program, CalSavers, survived a legal challenge that sought to nullify the state's new retirement vehicle, and some experts see the decision as a positive indicator for states that have similar programs and those considering...

Illinois governor pushes to replace flat tax

April 2, 2019

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is targeting the richest residents in a push to raise more revenue for his cash-strapped state. It may help that the billionaire Democrat would have to pay more taxes, too. Mr. Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt Hotels...

House committee unanimously approves sweeping retirement bill

April 2, 2019

The House Ways and Means Committee unanimously approved sweeping legislation Tuesday to increase retirement savings. The bill would make it easier for small businesses to band together to offer retirement plans to their employees, provide legal...

Democrats back legislation to require investor-testing of SEC advice rule

March 27, 2019

House Democrats backed legislation Wednesday that would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to make sure its new advice rule gives investors the information they need to make an informed decision when hiring a financial adviser. Under...

Update on Social Security reform

March 26, 2019

Well, it's a start. A House panel held hearings in mid-March on a bill that would expand Social Security benefits and stabilize the long-term finances of the nation's premier retirement system. But don't get too excited. The Social Security...

The U.S. retirement system is far too complex

March 21, 2019

For the past decade, the financial services industry has engaged in a heated debate over the appropriate market conduct standard for investment advice. The debate is ratcheted up a notch in the retirement arena, where the Department of Labor...

House Democrats call on SEC to strengthen Regulation Best Interest

March 14, 2019

House Democrats are calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission to strengthen its investment advice reform proposal. In the first hearing about the measure since the party took over the House in last year's elections, Rep. Carolyn Maloney,...

Opponents of Maryland fiduciary bill tell lawmakers to wait on SEC

March 13, 2019

Opponents of a Maryland bill that would raise investment advice standards for the state's brokers and insurance agents told lawmakers Wednesday to wait for the Securities and Exchange Commission to go first on advice reform. But a supporter...

Capital gains increase at heart of Democrats' tax-the-rich plans

March 12, 2019

Bill Gates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders all want the rich to pay more taxes, but Mr. Gates is saying what the Democratic candidates appear to be thinking: Go for the capital gains rate. Mr. Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft...

When clients work past 70, RMDs are still required — and begrudged

March 8, 2019

When Ron Strobel was an investment adviser in Seattle, many of his clients were Boeing engineers. They loved their jobs and wanted to keep working as long as they could. But when they reached age 70½, they had to take required minimum distributions...

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