In a recent letter to Acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris, six members of the Congressional Black Caucus warned that if the DOL’s 2010 fiduciary proposal is re-proposed this year without significant changes, the rule “could disparately impact retirement savers and investment representatives in the African-American community,” according to the letter.

Rep. Maxine Waters, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, was among the signers of the letter.

The focus was on advisers assisting clients with IRAs. “If brokers who serve these accounts are subject to [ERISA’s] strict prohibitions on third-party compensation, they may choose to exit the market rather than risk the potentially severe penalties,” the letter states. “If that occurs, it could cause IRA services to be unattainable by many retirement savers in the African-American community.”

The letter was also signed by Democratic Reps. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Emmanuel Cleaver (Mo.), Al Green (Texas), William Lacy Clay (Mo.), Terri Sewell (Ala.) and David Scott (Ga.).

 “It is critical that the department continue to work together with appropriate agencies and stakeholders on a balanced approach to both protect investors and maintain affordable access to retirement savings products during this time of economic uncertainty,” the Congressmen wrote.

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