Mainers work hard for their money and deserve a new standard of accountability to help them choose the best investments for themselves, their families and their future.

Along with millions of Americans, they depend on 401(k)-style plans for their retirement savings. These plans allow workers to invest a portion of their paycheck before taxes are taken out. Such plans often involve complex financial decisions, so many of us have to use and trust investment professionals for guidance.

The Department of Labor has proposed a new rule requiring anyone giving financial advice to individuals saving for their retirement to only recommend investments that are in the best interest of their clients. AARP supports best interest advice, and we are asking our federal elected officials to vote against any efforts to slow down or stop this rulemaking.

Some financial advisers already meet a higher, unbiased standard. However, because of loopholes in the current law, too many bankers, brokers, fund managers and insurance agents are permitted to take advantage of hardworking Americans.

These biased financial advisers are not necessarily giving the best advice, and instead are making recommendations for investments with higher fees, unnecessary risk and lower returns in order to make the highest commission or fee.

Last year alone, hidden fees, unfair risk and bad investment advice robbed Americans of as much as $17 billion. Mainers deserve investment advice based on what’s truly best for them and their families.

That’s why AARP is fighting for genuine accountability to protect millions of Americans who’ve worked hard to save so they have peace of mind about their financial stability.

We deserve a new standard that requires anyone who gives financial advice to recommend only those investments that help their clients live with freedom and independence in retirement.

Roberta Downey

communications volunteer, AARP Maine

Bangor