US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment Praises Decision to Provide Greater Investment Choice to Federal Employees
Today, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board voted to move forward with developing a mutual fund window option for the 4.7 million federal employees and military personnel served by the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the country's largest defined contribution plan.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 27, 2015)— Today, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board voted to move forward with developing a mutual fund window option for the 4.7 million federal employees and military personnel served by the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the country's largest defined contribution plan.
Currently, there are no sustainable and responsible investment options in the Thrift Savings Plan. While this decision does not ensure inclusion of sustainable investment options, US SIF applauds Chairman Kennedy and the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board for today's unanimous decision to expand investment options for millions of federal government employees who entrust $450 billion in retirement savings to the Board. US SIF believes this is a significant milestone that brings the TSP one step closer to being able to provide government employees with an option to invest in mutual funds that consider environmental, social and governance criteria to generate positive environmental and societal impact while generating long-term retirement savings for participants.
Choosing where to invest retirement savings is among the most powerful decisions an individual investor can make. In 2009, the Federal Retirement Reform Act gave the authority to the Thrift Board to offer a service that would enable participants to invest in mutual funds outside the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). US SIF has since urged the Thrift Investment Board to expand investment options, including availability of sustainable investment options.
US SIF CEO Lisa Woll noted: “Inclusion of sustainable and responsible investment options in the mutual fund window would provide federal employees with the options already offered to many other Americans in their retirement accounts. Additionally, many federal employees have told us that they care deeply about issues such as climate change, equal employment opportunity, human rights, decent working conditions, and good corporate governance practices and would welcome investment options that align with these concerns.”
According to US SIF Foundation data, sustainable, responsible and impact investment (SRI) had increased to $6.57 trillion of assets under professional management in 2014. Over the past two years, SRI assets have grown by 76 percent and now account for more than one out of every six dollars under professional management in the United States.
Woll said: “We look forward to the TSP's rigorous consideration and thoughtful selection of a platform that allows federal employees more choices in how they invest their savings and encourage the Board to give careful consideration to the breadth of sustainable and responsible investment funds offered when developing the selection criteria for choosing a mutual fund window provider.”
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US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (www.ussif.org) is the US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in sustainable, responsible and impact investing. US SIF and its members advance investment practices that consider environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. US SIF's members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing institutions, non-profit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners. See www.ussif.org.