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Congressman Randy Hultgren

Representing the 14th District of ILLINOIS

Letter to the Editor: Trusting Americans to plan for their future

Sep 21, 2015
In The News

Kane County Chronicle

Here’s a startling statistic: Almost 40 million households haven’t saved anything for retirement.

Sixty-two percent of Americans age 55 to 64 have less than one year’s savings. So, why is President Obama pushing a new regulation that would put up obstacles for Americans to obtain retirement advice? Does he distrust Americans enough to restrict them from investing in stable, sound financial products?

Picture this: Beth Ann, age 62 and nearing retirement, wants to manage her financial future by rolling over her employer-sponsored 401(k) plan into an individual retirement account (IRA) she controls. But when she visits her longtime financial adviser, she hits a wall: The Department of Labor has stepped in between her and her trusted adviser who has provided her reliable service for years.

For whatever reason, the president and his administration don’t know or don’t care what their new rules will mean for Main Street investors like Beth Ann who need this retirement advice the most. Washington regulations could make Beth Ann too expensive of a customer for her adviser to serve.

Ironically, breaking this trusted relationship with the person who understands her financial goals the best actually leaves her worse off when she is left to navigate the complex market on her own.

That’s why I am fighting in Congress, as a member of the House Financial Services Committee, to make sure Beth Ann and millions like her have access to the retirement advice they want and need.

In July, I led my colleagues in sending two letters to urge the labor department to change course, highlighting the danger its proposal will have on average Americans. Nine members of the president’s party in Congress are waking up and have filed similar concerns of the need to protect choice for their constituents.

Additionally, I support the Retail Investor Protection Act of 2015, legislation that would take the administration’s special interests out of the process and ensure an independent regulator with better knowledge of the situation – the SEC – would take the lead.

Many Americans want the choice to get help from trusted experts when planning for the future. Let’s again start trusting Americans to make wise decisions about their own lives.

Randy Hultgren

Representative for Illinois’ 14th U.S. Congressional District