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H.R. 2823 (115th): Affordable Retirement Advice for Savers Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 25, 2017.


Affordable Retirement Advice for Savers Act

This bill amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to modify requirements related to fiduciaries and the provision of investment advice for pension and retirement plans. (Under current law, a person who provides investment advice has a fiduciary obligation that requires the person to provide advice in the sole interest of plan participants and beneficiaries.)

The bill nullifies several regulations that are commonly referred to as "the fiduciary rule" and broadened the types of investment advice that impose a fiduciary obligation with respect to the plans.

The bill defines "investment advice" as a recommendation that relates to:

the advisability of acquiring, holding, disposing, or exchanging any moneys or other property of a plan by the plan, participants, or beneficiaries, including any recommendation regarding whether to take a distribution of benefits from the plan or any recommendation relating to a rollover or distribution from such plan; the management of moneys or other property of the plan, including recommendations relating to the management of plan assets to be rolled over or otherwise distributed from the plan; or the advisability of retaining or ceasing to retain a person who would receive a fee or other compensation for providing investment advice. Investment advice must be rendered pursuant to either: (1) a written acknowledgment of the obligation of the advisor to comply with fiduciary standards; or (2) a mutual agreement, arrangement, or understanding that may include limitations on scope, timing, and responsibility to provide ongoing monitoring or advice services.

The bill establishes exemptions to the prohibited transactions rules under ERISA and the IRC for advice that meets certain requirements for reasonable compensation, disclosures, and recommendations that are in the best interest of the plan or recipient of the advice.