May 22, 2018

Wyden Presses Labor Department over Failure to Protect Oregonians’ Retirement Savings

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, urging that the Department appeal an adverse Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on the fiduciary rule, which protects Oregonians from receiving conflicted investment advice. The Department of Labor has failed to take alternative measures to protect retirement savings or warn investors that they are vulnerable to abusive financial practices.

The letter reads in part: “We are deeply concerned that the Department’s failure to defend the rule will exacerbate confusion and uncertainty not only for consumers but also for the financial services industry. Everyone seeking help to plan for their financial future should be able to trust their financial adviser to put their family’s best interests first, and the Department has an important role to play to make sure the industry lives up to that trust.”

Earlier this year, two out of three judges on a panel of the Fifth Circuit held that the Department of Labor did not have the authority to issue the fiduciary rule and vacated the entire rule.  The Trump administration missed a deadline last month to appeal the decision to the entire Fifth Circuit.  It has until mid-June to appeal the Fifth Circuit’s decision to the United States Supreme Court. The State of Oregon has made an effort to intervene in the lawsuit so that it can appeal the decision if the Trump administration fails to do so. Independent experts estimate that the Trump Administration’s failure to defend the fiduciary rule will cost consumers at least $11 billion in lost savings with Oregon savers losing at least $191 million.

Wyden was joined by Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash, Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Booker, D-N.J, in sending the letter.

The full letter can be found here.