Then I got this interestting form letter from our lone congressman Don Young (original formatting was lost in transfer):
DON YOUNG Congress of the United States
Congressman for All Alaska House of Representatives
WASHINGTON OFFICE: Washington, DC
2314 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was designed to protect the beneficiaries of company pension plans in the private sector. A major point in the legislation was outlining rules for fiduciaries, or providers, of pension plans. For example, fiduciaries were responsible for distributing plan rules to employees with pension plans. Additionally, ERISA protects beneficiaries by giving them the legal rights to sue for benefits.
Although the Department of Labor has the goal of protecting pension participants, the new definition of "fiduciary"(the fiduciary is the main person giving advice; the new definition would remove the stipulations "regular" and "primary basis), unnecessarily hurts all parties involved. The providers newly classified as fiduciaries will have extra responsibilities and will be burdened by more clients than the provider can handle. By overburdening providers, there will likely be a swath of errors in the private sector retirement system and massive destabilization. Opponents point out that the fiduciary would be able to retroactively declare exemption from fiduciary liability if the fiduciary feels that he or she was not impartial when giving retirement advice. In essence, should the participant's retirement plan not go as planned, the fiduciary can seek exemption from responsibility. The employer also faces challenges as he or she has to disregard decades of regulations. Especially during these difficult economic times, it is unwise to destabilize the private sector's retirement plans.
Americans have a right to be concerned with the continued expansion of federal regulation over retirement fund policies. I have often said that Congress passing regulation is not nearly as bad as giving unelected bureaucrats the power to create their own regulations. The proposal gives the Executive Branch too much regulatory power. The new definition can easily become burdensome, even though it is only a small part of what it means to save for retirement. This issue and other new requirements, that I believe will be overly burdensome on employers and the financial sector, are just a few of the reasons why I oppose bureaucrats who overstep their powers. In conclusion, this legislation will upset business practices and hurt the American economy at a time when it cannot afford it. Please know that I will be watchful as the Department of Labor reviews ERISA.
If I can be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Congressman for All Alaska
Now I do understand that the Repugnants in Congress feel it's their sacred duty to disagree/defeat whatever their most hated adversary, the commie, socialist, fascist, muslim loving, american hating president does. But opposing increased regulation on an industry that had almost bankrupted our country? That's just too much. I over-rode my normal aversion to politics, took him up on his offer and contacted him:
To: Rep. Don Young, Congressman for All Alaska
Re: From the Desk of Congressman Don Young: "burdensome fiduciary regulations"
Moran (sp) noun: Conflated with moron; one with an opposing view, considered especially stupid or foolish. “Get a brain, moran!”
After the economic collapse of 2008 when the unregulated derivative markets made many retirement and investment funds worthless, it seems inconceivable that anyone with an once of perspective would consider the regulation of anyone who gives investment advice a bad idea. But there you go, keeping the world safe for the investment establishment while the individual investors are left to fend for themselves. Your justification is a gross oversimplification and postulates unlikely consequences. As the lone congressman for Alaska, you seem more concerned with the east coast financial community than with the retired citizens of your home state.
And congratulations on your recent wedding.
Haven't got a reply yet, I suspect I won't be hearing too much from the lone congressman for a while.