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Thomas Perez: The 2014 IA 25 Extended Profile

"Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is being credited with re-energizing the Department of Labor’s bid to ensure that a rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act gets reproposed soon.

"After being sworn in last July, Perez 'immediately started focusing' on DOL’s fiduciary rulemaking, said Knut Rostad, president of the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard. Being no political neophyte, “he spoke to pro-fiduciary groups and started his rounds on the Hill to hear the concerns of lawmakers directly.”

"Perez told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee in mid-April that the redrafting of the proposal that was withdrawn in 2010 “has been slowed down at my direction significantly because we wanted to take a step back [to] listen and learn from everyone.”

"Perez noted, 'We’ve been engaged in a significant amount of outreach, and I’ve met with a number of senators and congressmen on both sides of the aisle, and we’re going to continue to do that.'

"Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Washington-based Better Markets, agreed that Perez going to Capitol Hill 'was a smart thing to do,' as 'a lot of the industry generated misinformation about what the DOL is doing.' One of DOL’s main goals, he added, is stopping 'undisclosed conflicts of interest in providing retirement advice.'”

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