Great summary by Bloomberg explaining the history behind Phyllis Borzi's fight to regulate retirement accounts and 401k plans.
Phyllis, an assistant secretary at the U.S. Labor Department, has long argued that retirement savings can be eroded by high fees or imprudent investments recommended by advisers with hidden incentives. She is pushing for brokers to be held to a legal standard that they must act in a client’s best interest, an obligation known as a fiduciary duty.
The industry contends Borzi’s change would throw the system into chaos by making it too expensive for financial firms to manage most retirement accounts. Typically, customers can turn to one of two kinds of investment professionals: brokers, who generally offer limited advice and are paid a commission on each trade; and investment advisers, who provide more personalized counsel and charge an annual flat fee based on the size of a client’s portfolio. Both are regulated by the SEC, though when dealing with retirement accounts they fall under Labor’s purview.