Financial Security and Protections

UNEMPLOYMENT-CHECK     SOCIAL-SECURITY     HEALTH-INSURANCE     JOB-TRAINING


Retirement Savings Made Safer
The New York Times | April 7, 2016
[N]ew rules issued this week by the Labor Department…require financial advisers to act solely in a client’s best interests when giving advice and selling investments for retirement accounts. The best-interest requirement, also known as a fiduciary duty, will be a big improvement on current practice, in which many advisers are free to steer clients into high-priced strategies and products even when comparable but cheaper ones are available.”


‘Customers First’ to Become the Law in Retirement Investing
The New York Times | April 6, 2016
“The rules governing how financial professionals handle the trillions of dollars they invest on behalf of Americans saving for retirement are about to get a lot tougher…There are piles of money at stake: Individual retirement accounts held $7.3 trillion at the end of 2015…while 401(k)-type plans had $6.7 trillion — money that may eventually be rolled over into I.R.A.s.”

“The Labor Department, after years of battling Wall Street and the insurance industry, issued new regulations…that will require financial advisers and brokers handling individual retirement and 401(k) accounts to act in the best interests of their clients…[T]he new rules — six years in the making — require a broader group of professionals to act as “fiduciaries,” the legal term for putting customers’ interests first…For the last year, the industry has lobbied Congress to delay or kill the rules, so far without success.” 


Editorial: Retirement advisers must now put customers first
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | April 7, 2016
“Many consumers mistakenly thought advisers already operated under such rules. Advisers were generally required only to recommend suitable investments. They could promote products that paid them higher commissions, instead of identical products with lower commissions.”

“If money managers aren’t already in this business to provide sound advice, they should find another line of work. This is a win for hard-working Americans. Predatory financial advisers need to hit the road.”


Employee Ownership
Public Goods Post 
ESOPs are employee ownership structures that are created and supported through federal legislation. As such, employee ownership is a “public good,” fostered by government policy and law. 


Freedom to Harm
Public Goods Post 
This Post is about the erasure of regulations that is taking place outside of the media spotlight. It takes its title from a 2013 book by Thomas McGarity, who wrote about the consequences of eliminating regulations that protect people and the planet, thereby giving corporations the “freedom to harm.”

Underway today, if out of sight, is the “deconstruction of the administrative state” promised by the Trump White House. This deconstruction is aggressive and violent: it means the demolition of the capacity of our government to protect the safety and health of Americans, to repair and maintain our basic physical infrastructure, to protect the environment and to provide myriad essential public goods and services. Read more…