Ready, set, go: New retirement advice protections are here

Friday is the day, folks.

Starting on June 9, all financial advisers providing guidance on retirement accounts must adhere to the new U.S. Department of Labor rule requiring that they act in your best interest rather than their own.

The controversial rule survived a bruising seven-year battle against entrenched interests in the financial services industry, which were seeking to protect excess fees that cost retirement savers $17 billion a year – a full percentage point in annual returns, according to U.S. government estimates during the Obama administration.

Most recently, the rule survived a 60-day delay by the new administration under President Donald Trump, which has considered repealing or revising it.

The Trump administration may yet try to weaken or undo parts of the so-called fiduciary standard, and several important parts of the rule are due for completion in January. These include details on adviser exemptions and disclosures that must be made to consumers.

For now, the rule has teeth. It permits consumers to sue advisers if they do not think they have met their fiduciary obligations.

What will the rule mean for retirement savers, and how can you take advantage of its protections? My Reuters Money column this week takes a look at key issues to consider.



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