US SIF Calls for Withdrawal of Department of Labor Proposal Related to ERISA and ESG Considerations
The DOL's proposal does not present a problem it is trying to solve, other than evidencing a deep distrust of investments that consider ESG criteria.WASHINGTON, D.C., August 5, 2020 – US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment joined more than 1,500 others in commenting on the Department of Labor's Rulemaking related to ERISA governed retirement plans offering fund options that assess ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria in addition to other financial criteria.
US SIF CEO Lisa Woll said, “The overwhelming response reflects the growing interest in and asset flows to sustainable investing. Many of the respondents expressed strong objections to this ill-advised rulemaking.”
US SIFs letter concluded that: “DOL's proposal does not present a problem it is trying to solve, other than evidencing a deep distrust of investments that consider ESG criteria. The proposal does not show instances of fiduciaries choosing investments that are likely to have lower returns in exchange for ESG criteria being considered. It provides no data on how plan participants have or are likely to suffer from having ESG options available to them. But it does require a heightened level of scrutiny for fiduciaries who want to include ESG funds and mandates their exclusion from QDIAs.
“The unfortunate result were this proposal to become a regulation is that it will limit plan participants' options and diversification opportunities. This should not be the role of the Department of Labor.”
The full text of US SIF's comment letter can be found here.
About US SIF
US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the leading voice advancing sustainable and impact investing across all asset classes. Its mission is to rapidly shift investment practices toward sustainability, focusing on long-term investment and the generation of positive social and environmental impacts. US SIF members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, asset owners, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing organizations and nonprofit associations.
Learn more at ussif.org.