By Megan Leonhardt
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Thursday it will use every tool at its disposal to challenge the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule, including a potential lawsuit and working with Congress.
“We’ve had very strong conversations with people in Labor and in the White House and what has to happen to that rule for it to be acceptable and not destructive to the retirement system of small companies and others,” said Thomas Donohue, president and CEO, in comments to reporters following his annual State of American Business address.
“If [the finalized rule] looks appropriate, we won’t have to sue. If it’s not appropriate, it’s not just suing; we now have, in the Senate and in the House, much better systems to use the appropriations and other parts of the committee process to work on this deal and we will.”
The Labor Department’s rule would require advisors overseeing retirement plans to act under a fiduciary standard, putting client interests ahead of all other considerations when making investment recommendations on accounts covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
“This rule could actually limit small businesses’ access to retirement services or lock them out of the retirement market all together,” Donohue said.
Duane Thompson, senior policy analyst for fi360, predicted in October that organizations would likely challenge the rule through lawsuits filed in the D.C. Court of Appeals. He noted at the time, at least one insurance company had already retained the counsel of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Partner Eugene Scalia (the son of current Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia). He declined to specify the company, but added it was a clear signal they were prepping for a legal fight.