How do you give investment advice to IRA investors and 401(k) participants? The Pension Protection Act of 2006 laid out a rough framework for giving advice to 401(k) participants, and now the Department of Labor
has clarified those rules for 401(k) and IRA advice alike. And whether advisors, mutual fund firms and recordkeepers choose to provide advice via level-fee agents or computer models, it looks like they'll have to act as fiduciaries to do it (see our sister publication, The 401kWire
[login required], August 21, 2008 for more on the proposed regs).
The new regs appear to have sparked yet another skirmish between Assistant Secretary of Labor Bradford Campbell
(whose Employee Benefits Security Administration regulates employee benefit plans like 401(k)s) and Congressman George Miller
(the California Democrat whose legislation on 401(k) fee disclosure stalled earlier this summer after passing the House Education and Labor Committee he chairs). Shortly after Campbell unveiled the new rules, Miller shot back with a statement that they represent "nothing less than a boon for Wall Street and corporate executives," (see The 401kWire
, August 21, 2008, for more).
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