Advice Bill Ready To Take Next Step

September 14, 2001 ( - The Retirement Security Advice Act (H.R. 2269) may be addressed by the House Education & the Workforce Committee as early as the end of September.

The statement was attributed to Paul Zurawski, deputy assistant secretary for policy of the Labor Department’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, at a September 12 session of the ERISA Advisory Council, according to the Bureau of National Affairs.

Lingering Concerns

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While a growing number of employers have decided to offer access to investment advice, many remain concerned that they will be held liable as fiduciaries for the decisions that individual plan participants make in choosing among investments.

Zurawski told the Advisory Council’s working groups that he is working with the committee to move the legislation forward and that assistant secretary of Labor Ann Combs has testified in support of the bill (see New Administration Embraces Investment Advice Bill) .

Critical “Acclaim”

The bill does have its share of critics, though opposition seems muted relative to H.R. 4747, last year’s nearly identical version of the bill. Most of the concerns involve the potential conflict of interest of advice from a provider with a financial incentive to recommend specific funds (see The Trouble With the Boehner Bill ).

The bill passed the Employer-Employee Relations (EER) Subcommittee by voice vote on August 2 (see Participant Advice Bill Passes Subcommittee  ).

– Nevin Adams

See our exclusive interview with Representative Boehner at If At First You Don’t Succeed…

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