Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Morgan Griffith on Retirement Advice

Here's the main article from the E-Newsletter. On this subject, this web site has no real opinion, because none of us has done or plans to do "retirement." We work until we have a real disability. (If you don't know Adayahi and Grandma Bonnie Peters in real life, you'd never believe what-all they've classified as minor inconveniences, that less determined people would have called disabilities.) So the following article is shared for those who do plan to "retire"...

From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9):

Last April, the Department of Labor proposed its “fiduciary rule,” which would impose costly new mandates and burdensome regulations on financial advisors that provide retirement advice. The rule would require these advisors to act as fiduciaries, and therefore they could not receive a fee from the companies providing insurance products such as annuities.

I and many of my colleagues had numerous concerns about this proposed rule and its impact on workers who save in qualified plans and Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). We outlined many of our concerns in an October 2015 letter to the Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez.

Regrettably, the final fiduciary rule was issued on April 8, 2016. And bipartisan concerns have been raised that the rule will restrict access to affordable retirement advice for low- and middle-income families and harm small businesses that will have to pay more in order to offer retirement options to workers.

I can recall my mother’s insurance agent Clayton Stanley coming by our home on numerous occasions in the 1960s when I was young and advising her on annuities, advice which is continuing to benefit her to this day. However, my mother, now 86, was then a single mom who had two young kids. She would have been unable to pay the up-front fee necessitated by the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule.

Using the Congressional Review Act to block the Obama Administration’s fiduciary rule, my friend Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, introduced H.J.Res.88. This resolution passed the House of Representatives in April, and shockingly passed the Senate in May. President Obama vetoed the resolution.

I supported an effort to override the President’s veto. Unfortunately, this effort failed.

At times, I have been disappointed and frustrated with progress made in Congress, including for example the lack of progress that results from the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. Since Republicans regained the majority in the Senate, however, we have been able to place on President Obama’s desk 8 bills that he has vetoed, including this resolution.

I am disappointed by the President’s veto of such a common-sense proposal – helping low- and middle-income Americans like my mother when she was younger to save for retirement.

I don’t know where those currently running for president stand on this issue. But I would hope that whoever is elected would be willing to revisit this situation.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives.