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Rating:ICI Takes a Stand Not Rated 2.3 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, July 23, 2002

ICI Takes a Stand

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

The Investment Company Institute is standing with House Republicans on pension reform. The fund industry trade group has voice public support of the Senate adding the Boehner advice provisions to its version of pension reform.

The Boehner provisions allow bundled providers and investment providers to offer investment advice to plan participants. Currently offering such advice is a prohibited transaction under ERISA and requires an exemption from the Department of Labor.

The trade group added that the Bingaman Senate version of advice is inadequate. That bill would allow fiduciary relief to corporations hiring a third-party advisor. The ICI's Matthew Fink notes that independent advice "has yet to be widely adopted, in part, because it typically is provided through fairly complicated Internet-based programs."

"The limited 'third-party' approach included in the Senate bills does little more than preserve the status quo, and will benefit relatively few employees," said Fink. "Unless amended to include the investment advice provisions of the House legislative counterpart, the Senate bills will leave millions of employees without realistic access to professional investment advice."

Earlier this year Fidelity Investments quietly broke ranks with the ICI. Where the fund giant had once supported the Boehner advice provisions, it has withdrawn that support. 

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