On May 23rd Ryan Jewell, Paul Twedt, and myself ventured to the “other Washington” for the Annual Congressional Conference. The Congressional Conference is a National Day on the Hill beginning with presentations and talking points from the national association and culminating with visits to our Senators and Representatives. The focus was of course the Department of Labor’s revision of the fiduciary rule. While we are not happy about the DOL’s position, via the efforts of NAIFA and other like-minded trade associations, the final rule was upgraded from previous drafts and much of the most damaging provisions were removed.
Our delegation of three were able to meet with 7 of our 12 federal legislators and/or their staff assistants. Because we’ve made these trips in the past we have actual relationships with many of the staff people. This is an extremely important development and the primary goal of APIC; to identify and develop relationships NAIFA members have with members of Congress. All of the meetings were positive and even the legislators who perceive us as having an opposing view were open to discussing the good and not-so-good of the fiduciary rule.
As we move forward with the new rule NAIFA has developed a course that can be offered via state and local associations that explains the finer points of acting as a fiduciary. You may have already received an email touting the new program. Depending on your company or broker/dealer status you may also be getting input from other sources. Pay close attention as there is much confusion regarding the do’s and don’ts. In the meantime remember to report relationships you have with your Congressman/woman or Senator to the APIC chair. Someday there may be an app for that!
Richard L. Miller, APIC Chair