The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump:
I am writing because I am deeply concerned about the Department of Labor investment advice rule also known as the “fiduciary rule.” I understand the rule proposal could be issued by DOL at any time and I believe it must be stopped and reconsidered.
I am owner of a small insurance business which is an independent marketing organization that operates in multiple states. My company provides marketing support to insurance professionals who in turn provide quality fixed insurance and annuity products including IRAs to consumers who are planning for or living in retirement. This rule threatens to disrupt my business and hurt my customers.
I appeal to your Administration which has opposed unnecessary regulation and supported free enterprise to prevent this rule from going forward. The original 2016 fiduciary rule proposed by the Obama Administration was vacated by the courts and yet another version of this same rule is back again even though it is simply not needed. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners adopted a model best interest regulation making this DOL proposal redundant, confusing, and unnecessary.
The current proposal has serious flaws and will wreak havoc on the insurance industry just like the prior fiduciary rule. First, while it supposedly reinstates the five-part test for determining who is a fiduciary, the DOL seeks to reinterpret the test so it will sweep in many more insurance agents as fiduciaries. This runs contrary to the court decision that struck down the 2016 fiduciary rule and is just wrong because insurance agents generally are not fiduciaries and should not be subject to ERISA type requirements.
Second, this rule will create confusion in the insurance industry because no effort is made to harmonize this rule with the NAIC model regulation. The NAIC model regulation is designed for the insurance industry. The DOL rule is designed for the securities industry and will not work for major segments of the insurance industry, most importantly for independent insurance agents who sell fixed products. The DOL proposal is contrary to its own stated objective of harmonization of regulation and will prove highly detrimental to independent agents selling fixed products if deemed to be fiduciaries.
I ask you to contact the Secretary of the Department of Labor to urge him to withdraw this rule so these vital issues can be properly considered and addressed. This rule proposal should at least be suspended, if for no other reason, because this a challenging time for our country coping with a pandemic, and the last thing we need is a new rule like this that will only bring more uncertainty to our lives.
Please help stop this unnecessary rule proposal from going forward.