October 28, 2010
To whom it may concern:
I have been a licensed insurance agent since 1974 and a registered rep since 1981. I do not support the new rule to rename 12b1 fees and call them marketing and service fees. I believe limiting them to 25bps is anti competitive. The small business market in retirement plans requires a servicing fee that is greater than 25bps. What this rule will do if servicing compensation is limited under the proposal, is force providers to become advisors where it would be reasonable to charge a higher advisory fee as long as it is reasonable for the services provided. Not every broker dealer will allow its reps to become advisors so the pool of talent that is available to guide employers and plan participants will become smaller. Normally when there is a shortage of something, the price rises.
As for the idea to let brokers compete on price, it is an interesting option. However through the Advisory distribution system, this price competition already exists . I'm not sure what is gained by allowing broker dealers to do this with their non advisory distribution system. Advisors for the most part will not be able to deal with small accounts. Keep the price controls in the brokerage world and let advisors compete based on price and service for the upper end of the market place. Let the middle class have guaranteed access at reasonable prices to mutual funds and other registered products through brokers.
John S. Tuttle, CLU, ChFC, Wealth Management Adviser