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Letter to EBSA on Definition of Fiduciary Under ERISA

Dear Secretaries Solis and Geithner and Commissioner Shulman:

Recently, the Employee Benefits Security Administration ("EBSA") of the Department of Labor (the "Department") proposed to change the regulatory structure for and definition of the term "fiduciary" under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), Definition of the Term "Fichiciary," (RIN 1210-AB32) . The term fiduciary is one of the key terms of ERISA as it determines which persons and entities owe the highest level of care to pension plans and their participants and beneficiaries. We of course believe that those who provide investment advice should be thoroughly trained, professionally licensed, highly ethical, devoted to the financial best interests of their clients, and abide by the highest standards of professionalism. However, consistent with these views we also believe that any attempt to change the existing regulatory structure governing investment relationships in the retirement planning marketplace must be done carefully and prudently as to avoid uncertainty and disruption. In addition, any change must be supported by economic data and regulatory prudence to avoid duplicative or conflicting regulatory structures of other federal regulators.

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