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Memo to Congress: Americans Want Financial Advice in Their Best Interest

After House Votes to Stop New Rule Requiring Such Advice, AARP Survey Shows Over 9 in 10 Want Trustworthy Advice on Retirement Savings

CONTACT:

Josh Rosenblum, (202) 434-2560, jerosenblum@aarp.org, @AARPMedia, @joshuarosenblum

Washington, DC –Today AARP released survey results that show 9 in 10 Americans agree with the recently announced US Department of Labor (DOL) rule that will require professional retirement plan advice to be in a client’s best interest. The survey comes as the US House of Representatives voted at the end of April to stop protections for retirement investors that require best interest advice. The rule, finalized at the beginning of April, is expected to save middle-class families billions of dollars per year.

“Americans have been losing billions of dollars every year receiving retirement savings advice from financial advisors not committed to giving recommendations in their clients’ own best interest,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “It’s telling that while all seem to publicly agree with this standard, many still want to stop this rule from going in to effect next year.

Of the current or past retirement savings account holders surveyed:

  • 88% believe it important that professional financial advisors give advice in the best interest of their clients. This includes an overwhelming majority of those who have (92%) and have not (79%) received financial advice.
  • 91% agree with the DOL rule that requires professional financial advice to be in a client’s best interest.
  • 80% have received professional financial advice in the past or expect to receive such advice in the future.
  • Across income levels, large majorities of consumers have received or expect to receive financial advice including:
    • 91% of those with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more
    • 78% of those with annual household incomes of $50,000 to $74,999
    • 72% of those with annual household incomes of $25,000 to $49,999
    • 66% of those with annual household incomes of less than $25,000

Methodology: This survey was conducted for AARP via telephone by SSRS, an independent research company.  Interviews were completed from April 8 through April 17, 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,007 adults ages 25 and older who currently have–or who have had in the past—a retirement savings account.   Respondents were reached on landlines and cell phones, with 60% of the interviews completed on cell phones and the remaining 40% on landlines. The margin of error among all 1,007 respondents is +/- 3.7% at the 95% confidence level.

For more AARP resources and information on the impact of legislation that would seek to destroy advice in the best interest of Americans trying to save for retirement, full survey results may be found here: www.aarp.org/financialadvice.

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About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @aarp and our CEO @JoAnn_Jenkins on Twitter.

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If you are an AARP member and not with the press, call 1-888-OUR-AARP or email member@aarp.org.

 

For media inquiries, please contact the AARP Media Relations Office at (202) 434-2560 or media@aarp.org.

 

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