PRESS RELEASE: UTAH LEADERS SHOULD JOIN EFFORT TO PROTECT UTAHNS’ RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 14, 2017

CONTACT: Josh Kanter | josh@betterutah.org

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UTAH LEADERS SHOULD JOIN EFFORT TO PROTECT UTAHNS’ RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

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Salt Lake City, UT –  As reported this week in The Wall Street Journal, a bipartisan group of state treasurers sent a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta asking him to preserve the Department of Labor’s so-called “Fiduciary Rule,” expressing concern that the failure to implement the rule will hurt their constituents. The governors of Nevada and Connecticut took more direct action by recently signing bills effectively implementing the Fiduciary Rule in their states.

Following these developments, the Alliance for a Better Utah is urging Governor Herbert, Attorney General Reyes, Utah State Treasurer Damschen, and the Utah legislature, to similarly protect the financial interests of their constituents.

“Every Utahn in retirement or saving for retirement is impacted by the Fiduciary Rule,” said Josh Kanter, the founder and board chair of Alliance for a Better Utah. “The rule is pure common sense – a doctor’s first obligation is to their patient, not a drug company; a lawyer’s first obligation is to their client; why are we allowing financial advisors to put their own interests ahead of their client’s?”

The Fiduciary Rule, proposed by the Department of Labor and previously scheduled to be implemented in 2017, makes all financial advisors “fiduciaries” to their client’s interests, thus putting their clients’ interests ahead of their own. The Trump Administration has proposed delaying or eliminating this rule.

Kanter continued, “Utah’s political leaders, including Governor Herbert, Attorney General Reyes, State Treasurer Damschen, and our legislature, need to show their leadership and commitment to protecting all Utahns. We need them to follow the lead of their colleagues from across the political spectrum by urging implementation of the Fiduciary Rule or passing it into state law.”

Jeff Schwartz, a securities law professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, echoes these sentiments: “Currently, retirement savers are at the mercy of their brokers, who may steer them to financial products that are lucrative for the broker, but may not be in their clients’ best interests. Given the uncertainty surrounding the federal ‘fiduciary rule,’ Utah legislators should step in to protect our state’s vulnerable brokerage clients from exploitation.”

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About the Alliance for a Better Utah:

Alliance for a Better Utah is a good government advocacy and watchdog organization based in Salt Lake City. The organization works to improve the lives of all Utahns by ensuring balance, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.

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