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AARP: Consumer and Investor Protection Critical to Ensuring Retirement Security

December 11, 2009

AARP Media Relations,

AARP: Consumer and Investor Protection Critical to Ensuring Retirement Security

AARP applauds House passage; urges Senate to act

WASHINGTON – AARP today applauded passage of broad legislation that will modernize America’s financial rules in response to the financial crisis of the past year.

The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173), which passed by a vote of 223-202, includes a comprehensive set of reforms including the creation of a new consumer protection agency, and new rules to better protect investors and prevent predatory lending practices.

It is clear that the retirement security of Americans may be one of the greatest casualties of the financial crisis that wiped out an estimated $2 trillion in the retirement savings of Americans,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “Today’s action by the House brings us that much closer toward restoring accountability and responsibility in the financial markets that will help rebuild confidence and protect all Americans as they save for their retirements. We urge the Senate to act soon so that working families saving for the future can do so with confidence.”

In addition, AARP has long supported the creation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), whose mission is solely devoted to protecting Americans from abusive financial products and unfair practices. The CFPA’s creation was included in the bill the House passed today. AARP was further pleased that the bill increases the SEC’s ability to better protect investors and regulate the nation’s securities markets. Finally, the legislation will prevent egregious industry lending practices, and ensure that loans benefit the consumer and that borrowers can repay the loans they are sold.

LeaMond added, “As older households have had to deal with declining pensions and investment income, and rising costs for basic expenses such as prescription drugs, health care, and utilities, many have been forced to rely on credit and payment products to make ends meet. Providing necessary and comprehensive regulation has become a priority. The creation of the CFPA along with strong investor protections will help all Americans, but particularly older Americans who are beyond or near the end of their earning years and thus have little or no ability to rebuild their savings or investment funds.”

The new CFPA will expand regulatory authority over products that previously had weak oversight, while consolidating existing regulatory authority into one more effective agency to protect consumer interests.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's nearly 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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