March 16, 2018

Duckworth Statement on Fiduciary Rule Appeals Court Decision


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – After the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) “Fiduciary Rule” that protects consumers from unscrupulous financial advisors, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) called on the Trump Administration to put people over politics by vigorously defending the rule that ensures retirement advisors provide consumers with financial advice that is in the clients' best interests instead of lining their own pockets first. The Senator also urged the Supreme Court to quickly take up this case and remove confusion about the rule’s future that currently exists because of divergent Circuit Court opinions.

“I’m disappointed in the 5th Circuit’s ruling that only helps Wall Street at the expense of hardworking Americans,” said Duckworth. “However, I’m not surprised to see the financial industry once again fighting tooth and nail against common-sense consumer protection policies. People should be able to trust that retirement advisors have their client’s best interests, rather than their own pocketbooks, in mind—which is exactly the sort of certainty the fiduciary rule provides. The Trump Administration should be doing much more to defend this consumer protection policy than it is, and I hope the Supreme Court reverses the 5th Circuit’s ruling quickly.”

Without the fiduciary rule, retirement advisors are under no legal obligation to provide recommendations that are in their client’s best interests, and are instead often incentivized to steer their clients towards more expensive funds with higher fees, even if it could cost the client hundreds of thousands of dollars over their lifetime.

Senator Duckworth has long advocated for the fiduciary rule. She wrote an op-ed that appeared in Crain’s Chicago Business last year underscoring the need for common-sense reforms like the fiduciary rule. She also penned a 2016 New York Times op-ed illustrating why the fiduciary rule is a critical protection that can help families save for retirement.