Weekly Address: Ensuring Hard-Working Americans Retire with Dignity

Updated : Nov 19, 2019 in Articles

Weekly Address: Ensuring Hard-Working Americans Retire with Dignity


The President:
Hi everybody. In America, we believe
that a lifetime of hard work and responsibility
should be rewarded with a shot at a secure,
dignified retirement. It’s one of the critical
components of middle-class life – and this week, I
took new steps to protect it. Six years after the
crisis that shook a lot of people’s faith in
a secure retirement, our economy is
steadily growing. Last year was the best
year for job growth since the 1990s. All told, over the past
five years, the private sector has added nearly
12 million new jobs. And since I took office,
the stock market has more than doubled,
replenishing the 401(k)s of millions of families. But while we’ve come a
long way, we’ve got more work to do to make sure
that our recovery reaches more Americans, not
just those at the top. That’s what middle-class
economics is all about-the idea that this country
does best when everyone gets their fair shot,
everybody does their fair share, and everyone plays
by the same set of rules. That last part-making sure
everyone plays by the same set of rules-is why
we passed historic Wall Street Reform and a
Credit Card Bill of Rights. It’s why we created a new
consumer watchdog agency. And it’s why we’re taking
new action to protect hardworking families’
retirement security. If you’re working hard and
putting away money, you should have the peace of
mind that the financial advice you’re getting
is sound and that your investments
are protected. But right now, there are
no rules of the road. Many financial advisers
put their clients’ interest first – but some
financial advisers get backdoor payments and
hidden fees in exchange for steering people
into bad investments. All told, bad advice
that results from these conflicts of interest
costs middle-class and working families about
$17 billion every year. This week, I called on
the Department of Labor to change that – to update
the rules and require that retirement advisers
put the best interests of their clients above their
own financial interests. Middle-class families
cannot afford to lose their hard earned savings
after a lifetime of work. They deserve to be treated
with fairness and respect. And that’s what
this rule would do. While many financial
advisers support these basic safeguards to
prevent abuse, I know some special interests will
fight this with everything they’ve got. But while we welcome
different perspectives and ideas on how to move
forward, what I won’t accept is the notion that
there’s nothing we can do to make sure that
hard-working, responsible Americans who scrimp and
save can retire with security and dignity. We’re going to keep
pushing for this rule, because it’s the right
thing to do for our workers and for
our country. The strength of our
economy rests on whether hard-working families
can not only share in America’s success, but
can also contribute to America’s success. And that’s what I will
never stop fighting for – an economy where everyone
who works hard has the chance to get ahead. Thanks, and have
a great weekend.

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