The SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, or OCIE, has launched a multi-year Retirement-Targeted Industry Reviews and Examinations (ReTIRE) Initiative. OCIE is focusing on retirement-based savings in recognition of the complex and evolving set of factors that retail investors face when making such investment decisions. OCIE, through the National Examination Program (NEP), will conduct examinations of SEC-registered investment advisers and broker-dealers (collectively, registrants) under the ReTIRE Initiative that will focus on certain higher-risk areas of registrants’ sales, investment, and oversight processes, with particular emphasis on select areas where retail investors saving for retirement may be harmed.
The staff intends to use data analytics, information from prior examinations, and examiner driven due diligence to identify registrants to examine under this Initiative. As part of the examinations or the selection of examination candidates, the staff may focus on the activities of investment advisory representatives and/or broker-dealer registered representatives (collectively, representatives). The risk-based examinations conducted under the ReTIRE Initiative will focus on the services offered by the registrants to investors with retirement accounts in the following areas:
- Reasonable basis for recommendations
- Conflicts of interest
- Supervision and compliance controls
- Marketing and disclosure