The Labor Department is looking to toughen the standards for advice on retirement accounts. Regulations being finalized in April will extend the already revamped version of the fiduciary standard that oversees corporate retirement plans and individual retirement accounts.
The move calls for advisers to avoid conflicts of interest and put their clients best interests first, both when recommending investments for IRAs and when suggesting rollovers. Advisers have an incentive to recommend rollovers since commissions are made on the dollars shifted to IRAs. The new regulations would make it harder for advisers to make these recommendations since they would have to clearly document why it would be in the client’s best interest.
Rollovers are expected to amount to four hundred and thirty nine billion dollars this year, up one hundred and sixty eight billion from 2010.