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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is unveiling rules that will require brokers who recommend investments for retirement savers meet the stricter standard that now applies to investment advisers: They must act as “fiduciaries,” or trustees legally obligated to put their clients’ best interests above all.

The action, in rules issued Wednesday by the Labor Department, could shake up how billions of dollars in Americans’ retirement investments are handled by brokers. The government action will put brokers — who sell stocks, bonds, annuities and other investments — under the stricter requirements placed on registered financial advisers.

The rules were the focus of heated lobbying campaigns by the financial industry and consumer advocates.

They will be phased in starting a year from now, and full compliance will be required by January 2018.

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