Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule: What does it mean for retirement accounts?

This is one post in a series based on our “Quarterly Questions & Answers”. Each post covers one of the important topics we discuss with our wealth management clients.  Today’s topic is:

The Department of Labor has new rules regarding advice for retirement accounts. How does this fiduciary rule affect my account (IRA, SEP, 401k), our relationship, and your business?

The Department of Labor has introduced new rules for financial advice on retirement accounts – like 401ks, IRAs,SEPs or almost any tax deferred account. It doesn’t include taxable accounts like an individual brokerage account or trust.

In essence, the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule states that anyone giving advice on a retirement account must act in their clients’ best interest – not recommending products solely because they pay the advisor a big commission.

For brokers or independent advisors tied to a brokerage firm, these new rules may cause them to give up a lot of commission products, variable annuities, and rollover sales strategies. While this increases compliance costs to the big brokerage firms, it should ultimately be a good thing for the investors receiving the advice.

For fee-only firms like Glassman Wealth Services, there really isn’t much of a difference since we’re already fiduciaries and we already act in clients’ best interest, even outside their retirement accounts.

Want to know more? Check out the rest of the posts in this Series:

 

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Barry Glassman, CFP®
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