Bill Would Open Door For Retirement AdviceA bill that would enable independent agents and brokers to provide counsel to participants in employer-sponsored investment plans was approved in November by the House of Representatives by a 280-144 vote. The Retirement Security Advice Act (H.R. 2269) is sponsored by the House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Boehner (R-Ohio). The measure would open the door for independent agents and brokers to advise workers participating in a plan, without having to become registered investment advisors. Under current law, the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) prohibits retirement plan participants from receiving investment advice from the financial institution managing the plan's investment options or acting in other fiduciary or service provider capacities. H.R. 2269 includes provisions mandating that advisers must disclose fees and conflicts to plan participants when giving advice. A similar Senate measure, the Independent Investment Act (S. 1677), is expected to be taken up this year.

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