IRI Supports SEC Rulemaking on Standards of Conduct

IRI Supports SEC Rulemaking on Standards of Conduct

Calls for Coordinated Effort to Create Consistent Best Interest Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) submitted a response to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton’s public statements calling for public comments regarding the standards of conduct for financial professionals. Through its letter, IRI provided the SEC with recommendations on how to develop a clear, consistent best interest standard through a collaborative effort with the Department of Labor (DOL), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and other key regulators.

IRI Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lee Covington issued the following statement:

“IRI has long supported the adoption of a best interest standard which preserves access to affordable financial advice and a variety of lifetime income products. The SEC should collaborate with its fellow regulators to develop a clear and consistent best interest standard. The DOL's fiduciary rule is already causing consumers to lose access to financial services, annuities and other products, as demonstrated by recent IRI research, and therefore should not be used as the starting point for this rulemaking effort.

To keep the standard clear and consistent, IRI has provided a set of guiding principles to assist the SEC in this process. These include:

  • Any new standard should only apply to new accounts and transactions entered into after the rule takes effect.
  • The SEC should retain control over interpretation of any new standard.
  • Any new standard should be enforced through regulatory actions or arbitration rather than private litigation.

IRI commends the Chairman for seeking public input on this important subject. IRI looks forward to working the SEC, the DOL, the NAIC and others to develop a best interest standard of care that enables all Americans to achieve a secure and dignified retirement.”

Click here for an executive summary of IRI’s comment letter, and click here for a copy of the full letter.