(Bloomberg) -- As the Obama administration reached the end of its nearly six-year battle with financial firms over setting tougher rules for brokers who handle retirement accounts, an emissary went up to Capitol Hill to smooth the way for the rollout.

AARP, in a meeting with Democratic congressional aides last month, stressed the policy's importance to its millions of retiree members, according to people briefed on the gathering. The more significant message, however, was left unsaid: lawmakers besieged by industry pushback should keep in mind there was an equally powerful lobby on the other side.

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