AFREF and 17 partners submitted comments to the Department of Labor on its request for information on climate risk to retirement plans and pensions, urging further integration of systemic risks like climate change, environmental, racial, and economic inequality into the administration of private retirement plans and pensions and the Federal Thrift Savings Plan.
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund (AFREF) submitted comments to the Labor Department supporting a proposed rule that will allow and encourage private retirement plans and pensions to consider sustainability factors like climate change, workers’ rights, racial, economic and environmental justice, and corporate governance when investing and voting proxies.
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund and Sierra Club were joined by 13 organizations in a comment letter to the DOL supporting a proposal to encourage fiduciaries to consider climate change and ESG factors, and calling for further actions to standardize sustainable investing for private retirement plans and pensions.
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund (AFREF) applauds the Labor Department for issuing this proposal to better allow and encourage retirement plans and pensions to consider sustainability factors like workers’ rights, racial justice, corporate governance, and climate change when investing.
“The nonprofits Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform have released an early copy of their new “roadmap” for climate-finance reform to The Weekly Planet. It’s a guide to what the new executive branch might do to shift the flows of capital toward greener investments.”
“Not that this will be easy. Yesterday, Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, wrote a letter to the San Francisco Fed implying that it should stop researching “climate economics,” labeling the topic “bitterly partisan.” He’s not wrong—climate change is bitterly partisan. But all of the country’s largest banks have issued climate policies nevertheless. And if it is partisan, that is because partisans fought greenhouse-gas regulation for so long that climate change has become a costly and whole-of-society issue. The financial system is where those costs come to roost. Any big problem, ignored for long enough, becomes a financial issue.”
In a significant reversal, the Department of Labor (DOL) today announced they will not enforce the anti-sustainable investing rules that were hastily published in the final days of the Trump administration. The two rules, which went into effect in January 2021, would have made it much harder for retirement plans to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks into their investment practices.
Despite recent DOL rule changes, private retirement plan fiduciaries can still incorporate ESG factors into their investment actions to protect their participants’ retirement savings, maximize returns, and contribute to a more sustainable financial system. Here’s what you need to know.
The Department of Labor today dealt another blow to sustainable investing with a new rule aimed at private retirement plan fiduciaries. Incoming leadership at DOL must quickly reverse course on this rule and facilitate, rather than hinder, responsible retirement investing.
AFREF submitted a letter to the Department of Labor urging it to withdraw a rule proposal that would impose onerous costs and process requirements on private sector retirement plans when deciding whether and how to vote on matters brought to a vote at public companies’ annual meetings. It will impose costs on retirement savers and undermine advances on corporations’ integration of environmental, social and governance factors, including those that have a material financial impact on long-term investment performance
Given the unfortunate demise of the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule and the glaring deficiencies in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Regulation Best Interest, we greatly appreciate states such as New Jersey that are willing to step in to fill the regulatory void by providing the protections investors need and expect.