The Real Costs Of Managing Your Retirement

President Obama is calling for tougher rules on brokers who manage retirement savings. We’ll look at what that could mean for your retirement.

A crowd and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. listen as President Barack Obama speaks at AARP in Washington, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. President Barack Obama says too few Americans approaching retirement have saved enough to have peace of mind during their later years. (AP)

A crowd and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. listen as President Barack Obama speaks at AARP in Washington, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. President Barack Obama says too few Americans approaching retirement have saved enough to have peace of mind during their later years. (AP)

More than ever these days, beyond Social Security, Americans are on their own for retirement.  Saving.  Investing.  Praying.  This week, the White House saying at least people shouldn’t have to worry about the interests of brokers helping them make those investment decisions.  They ought to have the investor’s interest first in mind – not hidden fees or payments for themselves.  They’re pushing new rules.  Finance industry, pushing back. This hour On Point:  the stakes, and whether brokers need a top-down order to put your interests first.  Plus, we’ll look at shrinking bonuses on Wall Street.

— Tom Ashbrook


Robert Schmidt, finance reporter for Bloomberg News.

Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economics and director of the Schwarz Center For Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. Author of “When I’m Sixty Four: The Plot Against Pensions And the Plan To Save Them.” (@tghilarducci)

Francis Creighton, executive vice president of government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable. (@fcreighton)

From Tom’s Reading List

Bloomberg Politics: Obama Backs Tougher Rules for Brokers on Retirement Funds — “The plan to be issued by the Labor Department would require brokers to act in a customer’s best interest, a change that could limit the earnings of financial advisers in the handling of Americans’ $11 trillion of retirement savings. The president said the current regulations are out of date, devised in the era when most Americans could count on a traditional pension from employers. Through self-directed retirement accounts, some brokers are skimming significant sums annually from small investors, he said.”

Reuters: Obama takes aim at brokers’ fees on U.S. retirement accounts — “U.S. brokers and financial advisers would face new constraints under a plan President Barack Obama put forward on Monday to reduce conflicts of interest and “hidden fees” that cost Americans billions of dollars in retirement savings every year. In proposing the rules, Obama said he sought to protect Americans from being steered into costly retirement investments that produced high commissions for brokers but low returns for investors preparing for retirement.”

POLITICO: Obama woos Warren wing with anti-Wall Street push — “Many liberals have yearned for the president to pick up more of Warren’s mantle — and to turn a more skeptical eye toward Wall Street — but the two have maintained an arm’s-length relationship. Increasingly, White House aides have felt more pressure from the Warren wing of the Democratic Party to prove that he isn’t going soft on Wall Street. On Monday, he announced his target.”

Wall Street Banks Show Humble Hesitation

Nathaniel Popper, banking reporter for the New York Times. (@nathanielpopper)

New York Times: New Rules Spur a Humbling Overhaul of Wall St. Banks — “In the simplest sense, the rules about capital require banks to effectively spend a portion of a limited financial resource — their capital — every single time they take a risk by making a loan or a trade. The riskier the trade or loan, the more capital the bank has to allocate.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
May 31, 2016
This 2006 colorized scanning electron micrograph image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the O157:H7 strain of the E. coli bacteria. On Wednesday, May 26, 2016, U.S. military officials reported the first U.S. human case of bacteria resistant to an antibiotic used as a last resort drug. The 49-year-old woman has recovered from an infection of E. coli resistant to colistin. But officials fear that if the resistance spreads to other bacteria, the country may soon see germs impervious to all antibiotics. (Janice Carr/CDC via AP)

A new superbug resistant to our antibiotic of last resort has shown up in the U.S. We look at the threat, and our dwindling antibiotic options.

May 31, 2016
In this July 31, 2015, file photo, an orca or killer whale breaches in view of Mount Baker, some 60 miles distant, in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash. ( (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The end of orcas at SeaWorld, McDonald’s using cage-free eggs — should animal lovers be optimistic about a new “humane economy”?

May 30, 2016
Rock icon Donald Fagen looks back on a lengthy and ongoing career in his new memoir 'Eminent Hipsters.' He co-founded the classic rock group Steely Dan with Walter Becker in 1972. (Penguin Books USA)

Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen talks “eminent hipsters” and the cultural outliers that shaped his sound. He joins us.

May 30, 2016
Author and Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy. (Photo by Bob O'Connor / Courtesy The Author)

Strike a power pose. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy on the power of presence when you’re ready to act and win.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
In The Garden, Mother Nature Makes The Rules
Friday, May 27, 2016

Executive producer Karen Shiffman explains why she turns to her garden for food, friends and natrual comfort.

More »
WWII Vet Larry Kirby Reflects On American Values
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Looking ahead to Memorial Day, a World War II veteran looks back at the experiences that mattered to him, both in and out of war.

More »
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »