The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has many flaws, but one part of the rule that was to be commended (as I did here) was the restrictions placed on variable annuities in retirement portfolios. Now the Department of Labor wants to water down these rules, and allow the wolves of Wall St. to once again slaughter unsuspecting savers with extreme fees and terms that put customers at a distinct disadvantage.
Today Michael Wursthorn writes in the Wall Street Journal that the rule roll-back is meant to appease the very wolves who have been taking advantage of retirees for years, the sellers of variable annuities.
In issuing the proposed exemption, the Labor Department addresses one of the biggest complaints from those opposing the fiduciary rule: that it would destroy the business of many independent annuity sellers. The National Association of Fixed Annuities has been leading the charge against the rule in the courts as a party to one of several cases seeking to kill the rule or narrow its reach.