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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Proposed rule aims to protect Ohio's retirees

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Thursday, November 9, 2023   

The Biden administration has proposed a rule to help people save more in retirement and avoid "junk" fees from unscrupulous financial advisers.

According to the White House, a financial adviser may receive a commission as high as 6.5 % to recommend some insurance products, posing a conflict of interest.

Melondia Franklin Corpus, who finally reached her retirement milestone last May after 36 years of service as an educator, said when she filed for retirement six months prior, a flood of calls and solicitation started to pour in from financial advisers pitching retirement services and plans with few details.

"One guy called me, and it was almost a pressure-sale type thing, you know," Corpus recounted. "'This offer is only going to be good for this week,' blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and I'm, like, 'No, I don't make a commitment based on that, please send me some information, let me look at it.'"

The new proposal is intended to standardize the rules for everyone paid to offer retirement advice and sell retirement products. A statement from the Insured Retirement Institute attacked Biden's proposal, claiming the "fiduciary rule will harm the very consumers he wants to help and deepen the nation's retirement crisis by limiting access to sound financial advice."

Existing fiduciary rules from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Securities and Exchange Commission do not comprehensively cover all investment products such as one-time rollovers from a 401(k) to an IRA.

Corpus contended the new protections are a step in the right direction and should be expanded to all consumers.

"An adviser should never be recommending something to any client regardless of their status based on his commission," Corpus asserted. "I think retirees, definitely, but I think it should be across the board."

The proposal is open for public comment for 60 days before any potential revisions are made.

This reporting was supported in part by Media in the Public Interest and the George Gund Foundation.



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