Columbia, MD, August 29, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Gary S. Williams, President of Williams Asset Management, today called on the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to follow a set of criteria while writing their new rule to redefine the term “fiduciary” – a rule that threatens to price millions of Main Street Americans out of financial advice on their IRAs. Gary Williams is a member of the Financial Services Institute (FSI) and is working with FSI on this critical issue.
“Protecting my clients’ access to affordable, unbiased financial advice is my top priority,” said Mr. Williams. “I urge DOL Secretary Hilda Solis to release a progress report on the Department’s efforts in re-proposing this rule, and to show how it is following the criteria outlined by a strong, bi-partisan Congressional request. In these tough economic times, it’s more important than ever to protect access to advice.”
Late last year, more than 50 House Republicans and 30 House Democrats sent the Department of Labor two separate letters regarding the Department’s attempt to redefine the term fiduciary. The letters directed the Department to follow a set of criteria while writing their new rule.
Below are the criteria that Congress sent to the DOL to follow:
It is carefully and effectively targeted to address well-defined and documented problems in the retirement planning advice business;
It clearly recognizes that IRA accounts are significantly different from employer-sponsored plans because the IRA investor has nearly a limitless choice among service providers and investment products;
It ensures that plan participants and plan sponsors continue to be able to receive the critical information needed to expand retirement savings and coverage;
It preserves investor access to and choice among suitable financial products and services delivered by qualified financial professionals;
It avoids costly new regulatory requirements that exceed their proven benefits for investors;
It does not compound the investor confusion that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent study under the Dodd-Frank Act identified as the primary problem for retail investors. Effective regulation must add to the public certainty, not diminish it;
It is narrowly drafted to address well-defined and documented concerns;
Preserves the access of IRA owners and plan participants to investment services delivered by qualified financial professionals using whatever business model best fits the investor's objectives; and
Ensures that companies can receive the investment information they need to establish plans and offer sound investment offers to their employees.
Gary Williams’ practice offers independent and objective financial planning and investment management advice to individuals and families throughout the United States and abroad. Mr. Williams has been an independent advisor since 1994 and is affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network. Williams Asset Management is located at 8850 Columbia 100 Parkway, Suite 204, Columbia, MD 21045. More information on Williams Asset Management can be found at www.WilliamsAssetManagement.com.