Groups tell the Ministry of Labor: Act on climate risks for retirement savings



Today marks the end of the public comment period on a proposed Ministry of Labor regulation that would allow pension fund and retirement account managers to consider the environment, social justice and corporate governance. company when they make investments and vote on shareholder proposals.

The proposed rule would reverse pressure from the Trump administration to impose additional costs and burdens intended to discourage fund managers of employer-sponsored private pension plans from factoring climate change into their decision-making.

The Sierra Club and Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund submitted a comment letter today, signed by 12 groups, supporting the proposed rule and detailing additional steps DOL can take to strengthen retirement savings protections against systemic risks like the climate crisis. Thousands of public comments were also submitted to DOL urging the department to go further by requiring fund managers to consider climate risk and provide options for savers who want to invest in sustainable companies.

“For too long, fund managers have played with workers’ pensions by betting on risky fossil fuels, ignoring the risks the climate crisis poses to our society and our economy. This proposed rule would be a crucial step in protecting workers and retirees from the devastating impact climate change could have on their economies, ”said Ben Cushing, head of the Sierra Club‘s fossil-free fundraising campaign. “But DOL must go further. Given the scale of climate risks facing our financial system, addressing these risks cannot be a simple option for plan managers. It must be a requirement for them to do their fiduciary duty and protect retirees from the financial impacts of the climate crisis. “

“The DOL was right to act quickly to give back to fiduciaries the power to consider climate and other sustainability factors, which have become essential elements of modern investing and must be integrated into a process of prudent investment, ”said Alex, senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform. Martin. “Typical retirement savers with long investment horizons and broad market ownership face multiple systemic threats to their retirement income, including climate change and growing racial and economic inequalities. Trustees must be able to take these issues into account to protect the economy in the long run. safety of workers and retirees.


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