Fred Livingston, a member of NAPA, was one of approximately 200 delegates to participate in the third annual NAPA DC Fly-in Forum on July 21-22.
NAPA DC Fly-in Forum delegates heard updates on federal regulations affecting the retirement plan industry from top congressional leaders, including Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), who currently sits on the Senate Appropriations and Banking Committees. Discussions about the Labor Department’s fiduciary proposal included remarks from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Judy Mares, as well as Tom Selman, Executive Vice President, Regulatory Policy and Legal Compliance Officer at FINRA.
The topic of Labor Department audits was part of the agenda, as well as a special panel of ERISA litigators who shared their insights on the issues, lessons learned, and best practices that have emerged from the revenue-sharing litigation, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Tibble v. Edison International.
On the second day of the forum, delegates met one-on-one with their respective congressional representatives on Capitol Hill who shared insights from the experiences they have had on a daily basis with business owners and plan participants.
Fred came away from the meeting as an even stronger advocate for plan participants and with a renewed sense of how important it is to be involved with our leaders in Congress. Some comments from Judy Mares, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor, were encouraging in the fact that the Department of Labor wanted input to help make the ruling practical and effective. Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana), Senate Banking Committee, gave his opinions and insight on the DOL re-proposed rule as well. As a third generation farmer, he understands the middle class and practical governing versus bureaucratic complexity.
An important take away from the meeting in Washington was that we need to be having a conversation in America about retirement. Many Americans who are retiring are not financially prepared with their own savings. Here at Planmark we look at retirement as a “three legged stool”. The legs are built up over the lifetime of the participant and include an employer sponsored retirement plan, Social Security, and a participants own personal savings. Without all three legs the proverbial stool may topple over which as an advisor is our primary goal in preventing.