DOL Can’t Put Fiduciary Duty on IRAs, Ex-Labor Official Testifies



The Labor Department lacks the legal authority to promulgate its new fiduciary rule, Brad Campbell, partner at Faegre Drinker, and former head of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, told House lawmakers Wednesday.

During testimony before the House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee, Campbell maintained that the department “doesn’t have the legal authority to do what it is trying to do” because it cannot impose a fiduciary duty as it relates to individual retirement accounts.

“The reason we are here today is that the Proposals go well beyond DOL’s limited authority,” Campbell told lawmakers.

Labor’s plan ”would make DOL the primary financial regulator of $26 trillion, approximately half of which is held by individuals” in IRAs rather than employer-provided plans.

If Labor’s proposals “were limited to redefining fiduciary advice within the department’s actual authority — which is to administer the fiduciary standard expressly created by Congress to regulate employee benefit plans sponsored by private sector employers under Title I of ERISA — we wouldn’t be here today,” Campbell opined.

Author(s): Melanie Waddell

Publication Date: 10 Jan 2024

Publication Site: Think Advisor