Credo Action

Tell the Labor Department: Don’t let Wall Street scam retirees

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    Tell the Labor Department: Don’t let Wall Street scam retirees

    Donald Trump knows a thing or two about scamming people out of their hard-earned money. So it’s no surprise that one of his first moves as president is to help his Wall Street buddies scam retirees.1

    Right now, Wall Street scams Americans out of up to $17 billion of their retirement savings every year.2 The Department of Labor had been poised to publish a “fiduciary duty” rule left over from the Obama administration requiring investment brokers work in their clients’ best interests. But now, the Trump administration has forced the Department of Labor to propose a new regulation that would delay and weaken this essential retiree protection.3

    The Trump administration is only allowing two weeks for public comments. We have heard from our allies that interested parties aligned with Wall Street submitted more than 1,000 letters on the first day. It seems like they had a heads up. We only have until March 17 to submit enough comments to save the rules against retirement scams and show that there will be a major blowback if they are trashed.

    Tell the Labor Department: Don’t let Wall Street scam retirees.

    Trump has only issued two new regulations so far, despite all the big talk – and one of them is to let Wall Street scam folks. Broker-dealers have been caught giving workers bad advice in order to win a commission or even to score kickbacks for hawking certain products. The people who trust them lose their life savings, economic security and peace of mind.4

    Brokers can offer grand, unrealistic promises in order to score clients on commission, and even get paid to funnel your money into certain investments. They can make six figures or more, and never have to disclose that they aren’t working in your best interest.5 In contrast, many retirement advisers, including registered investment advisers, are held to a standard of working in their clients' best interest – known as “fiduciary duty.” The new Obama rules require all brokers to do the same thing.6

    The Trump administration is trying to delay the fiduciary duty for 60 days and seeking political cover to water it down in the meantime. It gave Wall Street a head start by limiting the public comment period to 15 days. We have no time to lose.

    Tell the Labor Department: Don’t let Wall Street scam retirees.

    More than 100,000 CREDO members spoke out for strong new rules protecting Americans' retirement savings from scam artists, and the Obama administration answered. The Obama rules would force investment advisers to put clients first and save Americans millions of dollars each year.7 It was a massive victory thanks to the advocacy of CREDO members, our allies and the leadership of progressive champions like Sen. Elizabeth Warren. All that is now at risk.

    These new protections against Wall Street scammers could be one of the most consequential reforms of the Obama era. We cannot let them be destroyed without a fight.

    Tell the Labor Department: Don’t let Wall Street scam retirees.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. Keith Clark, “Trump's people-versus-business conflict starts with the fiduciary rule,” The Hill, Mar. 2, 2017.
    2. Bryce Covert, “How Wall Street Siphons Billions From Retirees — And Gets Away With It,” ThinkProgress, Feb. 23, 2015.
    3. Clark, “Trump's people-versus-business conflict starts with the fiduciary rule.”
    4. Covert, “How Wall Street Siphons Billions From Retirees — And Gets Away With It.”
    5. Ibid.
    6. VW Staff, “New Fiduciary Rule – $14 Trillion In Assets To Be Impacted,” ValueWalk, Apr. 6, 2016.
    7. Ibid.