Waterloo, Iowa — Mike Hulme of Financial Resource Advisors (FRA) participated in a virtual roundtable discussion with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) on Sept. 6, 2022. The conversation was hosted by Financial Services Institute (FSI), of which Hulme is a member. Dale Brown, FSI's President & CEO, opened the meeting and Amy Webber, CEO of Cambridge Investment Research, introduced the advocacy topics of retirement security legislation and independent contractor status.
Hulme was in Washington D.C. in July advocating for retirement security legislation and met with a member of Senator Grassley’s staff. At the roundtable on Sept. 6, Hulme provided testimony regarding the subject of independent contractor status.
Prior to 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) had been considering rulemaking changes regarding who is an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Certain proposals were controversial and would have been extremely disruptive. In 2021, the DOL finalized rulemaking on this subject. Since then the DOL has created confusion and uncertainty by withdrawing the 2021 rule-making, which a District Court determined was unlawful thus allowing the 2021 rule-making to go into effect. The DOL has appealed that decision with the intention of replacing the 2021 rule with an alternative rule, thus resurrecting the previous state of confusion and uncertainty on worker classification.
The financial services industry supports the 2021 rule and opposes reverting to the proposed alternative. The latter could sweep the financial advisor profession into its broad net, with enormous negative consequences by requiring financial advisors and the people they employ to become employees of the entities that support their business, such as a broker dealer or registered investment advisor.
Hulme said, “Financial Resource Advisors is an independent advisory firm led by its owners so we can chart our own course and serve our clients in the best way possible. We have employees, including owners, employee benefit plans, succession plans and all that goes with running a growing business. We operate as a fully functioning business enterprise because we are an independent fully operational business enterprise. It is absurd that the DOL thinks we shouldn’t be. I shared this with Senator Grassley and respectively asked him to do all that he can to stop this egregious rule-making proposal.”
FRA has served clients since 1978. Their mission is to provide independent, professional asset management and financial advice to individuals and businesses. Hulme is an Investment Advisor Representative with Cetera Advisors LLC and Managing Partner of FRA.