U.S. Chamber Hears from Small Business Owners on Concerns with Fiduciary Rule, Impact on Retirement Savings

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 10:30am

Fly-in Discusses How Rule Will Make it Harder, Costlier to Save for Retirement

WASHINGTON, D.C.— As part of a small business fly-in, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today hosted, “Will Savers Benefit?,” an event to discuss how the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed fiduciary rule will impact the ability of small businesses to offer retirement plans and benefits to employees.

“To compete with larger companies and attract employees, small businesses need affordable retirement savings plans. If not fixed, this rule would restrict the advice that financial experts can share with small business owners and employees, raise costs, limit plan options, and perhaps even drive advisors out of this market,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “The truth is the Department of Labor rule would end up hurting the small businesses and workers it is intended to protect.”

The event included panels looking at the impact of the proposed rule on small businesses, ways to improve the rule, and an update on the Congressional response and action, as well as an opportunity for small business owners to voice their concerns with the rule.

“The Department of Labor has hinted that it’s open to changes, but it has failed to put its cards on the table,” Donohue stated. “We strongly urge the administration to make some commonsense changes to the rule to advance goals we all share—increased savings, expanded choices, and more and better advice for investors.”

Underscoring widespread concern with the rule and the consequences for small business owners and employees, the Chamber was joined at the event by the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, the Latino Coalition, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. 

“Small business owners continue to face headwinds and uncertainties in the economy, and the fiduciary rule will add to those challenges. The rule will make it more difficult and costly to offer a retirement plan, which will make it harder to retain and compete for quality human capital. If we want small businesses to grow, innovate and thrive, this rule must be fixed,” said Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council.

“While Hispanics work in all sectors of the economy, they are more heavily concentrated in jobs that lack traditional retirement plans thus affecting their ability to save for retirement. This proposed ruling unfortunately will limit the choices for the 3 million Hispanic small business across the country and create a Hispanic workforce less prepared for retirement” said Allen Gutierrez, national executive director of The Latino Coalition.

“The proposed rule could severely inhibit the ability of small businesses to offer retirement plans,” said Amanda Austin, vice president of public policy at the National Federation of Independent Business. “The Department of Labor and Congress need to take action to ensure small businesses can get the expert advice and assistance they need to implement these important employee benefits.”

Testimonials from small business owners who are concerned with the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule can be found at www.BetterAdviceMoreChoices.com

Additionally, in June the Chamber released “Locked Out of Retirement: The Threat to Small Business Retirement Savings,” a report focused on the proposed fiduciary rule and the impact to small businesses. You can find a copy of the report here.

Since its inception in 2007, the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness has led a bipartisan effort to modernize and strengthen the outmoded regulatory systems that have governed our capital markets. The CCMC is committed to working aggressively with the administration, Congress, and global leaders to implement reforms to strengthen the economy, restore investor confidence, and ensure well-functioning capital markets.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.