In 2013, in a little-heralded case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected the Obama Labor Department's attempt to punish voluntary retirement plan service providers. The DOL, under the direction of the controversial, radical leftist Tom Perez, had tried to force providers of 401(k), 403(b), IRA, and related services to adopt a massive new set of regulations known as "fiduciary" responsibilities.The Obama administration appears to have dropped all pretense of playing by the rules. They think they're owed that money, and they mean to have it.
The Seventh Circuit slammed the door shut on Labor and the Supreme Court thereafter declined to hear the appeal, which meant that the Obama administration had lost in the highest court in the land.
Of course for the "most transparent administration ever", that step simply meant that the court's opinion was to be rejected and that Obama would use his infamous pen to rule by executive fiat. After all, the ends justify the means, correct?
On August 24th, Perez and the Labor Department confirmed they are moving forward with new regulations that would repudiate the court's opinion. Even Obama's SEC Commissioner issued an ominous warning that the Labor Department's new regulations would unleash havoc and create "a mess."
The Obama administration has its sights set on an incredible amount of your money. By some estimates, Americans are holding well over $10 trillion in private retirement accounts.
For a country with debt that is clearly "unsustainable" (source: the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office), flashing that kind of figure to a Democrat politician is akin to showing a kilo of heroin to a desperate junkie.
One of the first steps the Obama administration took to signal its direction was to unveil its wildly unsuccessful "MyRA" program. This takes participants' funds and invests them in "ultra-safe", government-issued debt.
You can be sure that the future of the retirement services business will be to extend "fiduciary" responsibilities to require advisors to leverage federal debt instruments in their clients' portfolios.