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The overwhelming majority of public comments support the US Labor Department’s proposal to allow retirement plans to incorporate environmental, social and governance considerations

The overwhelming majority of public comments support the US Labor Department’s proposal to allow retirement plans to incorporate environmental, social and governance considerations

Public Comments Overwhelmingly Support US Labor Department Proposal to Allow Environmental, Social and Governance Considerations in Retirement Plans

Northampton, MA –News Direct – Ceres

January 25, 2022 /3BLMedia/ – The U.S. Department of Labors has overwhelming support Proposed ruleA new report by Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, US SIF, The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment and Environmental Defense Fund, addresses the issue of environmental, social and governance (ESG), and allows proxy voting in retirement planning.

The proposal Prudence, loyalty and prudence in choosing plan investments and exercising shareholder rightsThis would apply to funds that are covered by the Employee retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The proposal would reverse Trump administration-issued rules that made it more difficult to consider ESG criteria in ERISA plans, especially in default options. The 2020 rules increased the regulatory burden on fiduciaries in voting proxies.

Today’s report:

  • 97% of commenters supported Labor Departments reversal Trump era rules and clarification that ESG criteria are used in investment selection and removal of burdens on proxy vote is consistent with fiduciary duties under ERISA.

  • 83% of institutional correspondence supported the proposed rule. Some letters suggested changes. All letters received from corporations and financial institutions were supportive of the proposed rule.

  • 97% of individual comments supported the rule.

Major firms supported the rule include:

  • State Street, BlackRock. Franklin Templeton. BNY Mellon. LGIM America. Mercer. MSCI. Morningstar. Natixis. Northern Trust. TIAA. Vanguard.

The strong support of our members and other financial institution and corporations for the proposed rule demonstrates that there is widespread understanding that environmental, governance, and social data are important considerations when making investments in retirement plans. Lisa Woll is the CEO of US SIF. Respondents also supported the plan for removal of 2020 barriers to ESG consideration in default plans (Qualified Investment Alternatives).

The overwhelming support shown by corporations and financial service firms shows that the business community is aware of the economic consequences of the climate crisis. This includes both the risks as well as the opportunities it presents. Steven M. Rothstein is the Ceres Accelerator to Sustainable Capital Markets at Ceres.This issue is proving popular with people who want to have more sustainable retirement plans.

Climate change is a growing threat to our financial system. This proposal would help Americans safeguard their financial futures by highlighting that the effects of climate change can be considered alongside other risks. We recommend that the Department of Labor immediately finalize this proposal due to the overwhelming support of financial and business leaders. Michael Panfil, Lead Counselor and Director of Climate Risk Strategies at EDF.

Download the report

About the organizations

Ceres is an international non-profit organization that works with the most influential leaders in capital markets to solve the greatest sustainability challenges. The Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, a center within Ceres, aims to change the policies and practices that govern capital markets to reduce the financial consequences of the climate crisis. It encourages action on climate risk as a systemic financial threat driving the large-scale behavior change and systems change required to achieve a net zero emission economy. Visit this website for more information. ceres.orgAnd ceres.org/acceleratorFollow the instructions. @CeresNews.

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (USSIF) is the most prominent voice in advancing sustainable and responsible investment across all asset classes. Its mission aims to shift investment practices quickly towards sustainability. They are focused on long-term investment, and the generation of positive social or environmental impacts. US SIF members are investment management and advisory firms as well as mutual fund companies, asset-owners, research firms, financial planning firms, financial advisors, community investing groups, and nonprofit associations. Find out more at www.ussif.org.

Environmental Defense Fund is one of the most renowned international non-profit organizations in the world.edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF brings together science, economics, law, innovation, and private-sector partnerships to accomplish this. EDFs scientists and economists, as well as attorneys and policy specialists, have more than 2.5 million members. They have offices in the United States and in China, Mexico, Indonesia, and the European Union. Follow us on twitter @EnvDefenseFund

Contact Media Reginald Zimmerman, [email protected], 617-247-0700 ext. 136

View more multimedia and more ESG storytelling by Ceres on 3blmedia.com

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