US SIF Foundation Releases Updated Guide for Retirement Plan Sponsors

This easy-to-follow five-step guide assists retirement plan sponsors considering the addition of investment options that address ESG criteria to their defined contribution retirement plans.
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 7, 2021 – The US SIF Foundation has released an updated resource for retirement plan sponsors, “Adding Sustainable Funds to Defined Contribution Plans: A Resource Guide for Plan Sponsors.”  
This easy-to-follow five-step guide assists retirement plan sponsors considering the addition of investment options that address environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria to their defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. The five steps include increasing plan sponsor knowledge of sustainable investing, gauging participants' interest, discussing implementation, choosing funds and educating participants. It also contains a summary of studies on the financial performance of funds utilizing ESG criteria as well as updates on relevant Department of Labor regulations. Along with practical tips and suggestions, the guide lists links to additional resources.
With asset flows to sustainable investments at an all-time high, retirement plans are lagging in their incorporation of these funds. Assets under professional management that take ESG factors into account in the United States increased by 42 percent between 2018 and 2020 from $12.0 trillion to $17.1 trillion, representing one out of every three dollars under professional management. While most of this activity has been from institutional asset owners, studies from the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Natixis Global Asset Management show that demand from individual investors is on the rise.
“The expected reversal of Department of Labor rules on the use of ESG criteria in funds included in retirement plans will provide plan sponsors will greater certainty about adding sustainable products to their offering. This guide will help provide the tools to add such funds and to meet the increasing demand for sustainable investment options,” said Lisa Woll, CEO of the US SIF Foundation.
To access a free copy of the guide, click here.
About US SIF and the US SIF Foundation
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, community investing organizations and non-profit associations.

US SIF is supported in its work by the US SIF Foundation, a 501(C)(3) organization that undertakes educational and research activities to advance the mission of US SIF.

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