If At First You Don't Succeed… – 3-

August 24, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Wealthier Americans can bridge the "advice gap" by hiring an investment advisor. But few working families can afford such a luxury on their own. Instead, they end up getting their advice from Bob at the coffee shop.

PLANSPONSOR:  What kind of impact will these new competitors have on the advice market?

BOEHNER :  Today there are all these firms out there, making investment decisions which impact the investment returns of many of these 401(k) plans.  And yet these same firms are largely prohibited from sharing that expertise with these same [plan] participants.  I’m optimistic that the additional competition will enhance both the type and quantity of investment advice available to participants.

One of the phenomena that we have noticed is that despite a growing number of advice offerings, most participants don’t yet seem to be taking advantage.  Of course, we are still early in the product cycle, but do you think the Retirement Security Advice bill will make a difference in participant behavior?

Look, I’m just a congressman.  What may happen in the marketplace is anyone’s guess.  I don’t know that it will – but I’m convinced that the American people, most of the time, get it right.

– Nevin Adams            editors@plansponsor.com

Editor’s note:  Early August, the bill passed the Employer-Employee Relations (EER) Subcommittee by a voice vote.  As we went to press, the bill had attracted 42 co-sponsors from both parties, including nine Democrats.  The current list of co-sponsors includes Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, the third-ranking Democrat in the House, House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley (R-OH) and Representative Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The full committee is expected to vote on the bill sometime soon after Congress returns in September.