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AARP AARP States Advocacy

Close the Conflict of Interest Loophole: The Time is Now!

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The Problem


You've worked hard to save for retirement and you deserve a financial advisor who works just as hard to protect what you’ve earned. Right now, loopholes in the law allow bad-actors in the financial industry to provide retirement savings “advice” based on what’s best for their pocketbook, not yours. The result? They can recommend investments with higher fees, riskier features, and lower returns because they earn more money, even if those investments are not the best choice for you. Bad advice is wrong, and it is costing Americans up to $17 billion per year.


  • For workers, bad advice could cost as much as 25% of their retirement income.
  • Retirees could lose 5 years’ worth of retirement income.





AARP believes you deserve a new standard that holds Wall Street and everyone who provides retirement advice genuinely accountable for helping you choose the best advice for you, your family, and your future.

How do bad-actors drain your retirement savings?

Without ever bothering to check on your financial situation, “advisors” may recommend that you roll over your 401(k) savings into an IRA where in fact the investment expenses you pay are higher than those in your 401(k).

  • “Advisors” may recommend that you invest your IRA in a variable annuity that charges high fees, locks up your money for years, and provides no tax benefits beyond what your IRA already offers.
  • Or, in a variety of other ways, “advisors” may recommend investments that pay them more but force you to pay unnecessary costs, face unnecessary risks, or accept unnecessarily low returns on your investments.


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The Solution


The Department of Labor is trying to raise the standard so that all financial professionals who provide retirement advice are held genuinely accountable for providing advice based on what’s best for your financial future. Previously, employers managed pension investments for their employees, but today, most workers and retirees have to manage their own money. With so many complicated investment choices, Americans need reliable advice they can trust.

With a new standard, you won't have to try to figure out whether your financial “advisor” is really a salesman looking out for his or her own interests or a true advisor looking out for yours. A new standard will ensure that all financial professionals who offer retirement advice must make recommendations designed to serve your best interests by keeping your costs low, recommending sound investments, and protecting your retirement nest egg from unnecessary risks.

To join the fight for a new standard that holds Wall Street and all advisors who provide retirement advice genuinely accountable, visit


About AARP States
AARP is active in all 50 states and Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Connect with AARP in your state.