WASHINGTON, D.C. | July 30, 2020
Today, Republican Workforce Leaders on the Education and Labor Committee, Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Tim Walberg (R-MI), submitted a comment letter to Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Eugene Scalia regarding DOL’s proposed rule clarifying fiduciary responsibilities in selecting investments for retirement savers involving non-financial objectives, such as Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals.
In the comment letter, Reps. Foxx and Walberg write: “Republican Members of the House Committee on Education and Labor, the committee of jurisdiction over ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act], are dedicated to enhancing retirement security by ensuring that DOL properly interprets and enforces ERISA’s fiduciary standards, including the selection and monitoring of plan investments.” The Members continue: “It is incumbent on DOL to ensure its policies and regulatory guidance are consistent with the fundamental tenets of ERISA and serve to protect the retirement savings of America’s workers and their families. We believe fiduciaries must be laser-focused on their obligations to retirement savers, and DOL’s heightened attention regarding the application of non-financial considerations in this context is to be applauded.”
BACKGROUND: ERISA’s fundamental purpose is to protect the employee benefits of America’s workers and their beneficiaries. Central to this protection is DOL’s interpretation and enforcement of ERISA’s fiduciary duties of loyalty and prudence. Given the growing interest in ESG investing, it is appropriate for DOL to consider how ERISA’s fiduciary duties apply to the selection of such investments.
To read the full letter to Secretary Scalia, click here.