Boehner Comments on Advice Provisions in Pension Reform

July 21, 2006 ( - US House Majority Leader John Boehner said Thursday that members of the congressional committee negotiating the pension reform bill have mostly agreed on provisions allowing mutual fund firms to offer advice to 401(k) participants.

Boehner did not give specifics about the agreed upon provisions, according to Reuters. As far back as 2001, the Ohio Republican has pushed for a bill that would lower legal barriers that bar investment firms from offering participants financial advice for a fee (See US Senate Gets K Plan Advice Shield Law ).

“We believe that if they got better … investment advice, they’d be making better choices, more diversification in their portfolios, and at the end of the day they will have the kind of retirement security they want,” Boehner told reporters, according to the news report.

Lobbyists said the bill will likely allow employers to hire fiduciary advisers and offer advice to plan participants by developing computer models, suggesting investment allocations for employees, Reuters reports. The computer models would be reviewed by a neutral third party.

Opponents of a bill that allow advice argue such a measure could result in participants getting advice from companies that have a financial stake in the outcome and being steered unfairly to those companies’ products.

Boehner told reporters there was still no agreement on extending the advice provision to IRAs.