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week ending July 17th, 2020
Interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is growing among investors, perhaps more so now that improvements in the effects of climate change were seen during lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the events of this year have increased focus on diversity and inclusion. In previous guidance from the Department of Labor (DOL) it seemed amenable to including ESG factors in decisions about retirement plan investments; however, it has recently proposed a regulation that seems to dial back its stance. Whatever becomes of the proposed regulation, plan sponsors will need to be able to justify and document the selection of any ESG-related investments. Enjoy this edition of PLANSPONSOR Weekend!
Editor's Choice
Investing
Pandemic Shines a New Light on Climate Change and ESG Investing
The COVID-19 crisis is showing plan sponsors how corporate behaviors affect the environment and that encouraging positive ones with investment dollars can benefit participants as well.
Compliance
DOL ESG Proposal Throws a Cloud Over Prior Guidance
The proposed regulation seems to create stricter limits for ESG investing in retirement plans, but experts say it is not all doom and gloom for plan sponsors and participants who want these investments.
Investing
Lack of Track Records Hinder ESG Investing
Additional conclusive information about environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment performance may help retirement plan sponsors be less wary about making ESG investment decisions.
Investing
Providers Look to End the ESG Performance Debate
According to Mike Hunstad at NTAM, it may take some time for the retirement industry in the U.S. to fully embrace ESG as a positive-performance factor, but he says it’s already a best practice to think about ESG from a risk-management perspective.
Investing
ESG Investments a Good Option for Retirement Plans
Performance is not sacrificed by investing in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments, and plan sponsors and participants can align their financial goals with their values, a white paper argues.
Investing
Understanding How ‘E,’ ‘S’ and ‘G’ Contribute to ESG Performance
Investors need to know which factors will help them achieve their long-term and their short-term goals.
Popular Reads
Benefits
Phased Retirement Programs Offer Perks for Employees and Employers
A phased retirement program can help employers address workforce issues and help employees make a smooth transition, and it should include education and advice.
2020 Recordkeeping Survey
Compliance
VALIC Financial Advisors Charged With Disclosure Failures
The SEC says VALIC Financial Advisors failed to disclose to Florida teachers practices that generated millions of dollars in fees and other financial benefits for the firm.
Administration
CARES Act Special Considerations for 403(b) Plans
Participants invested in annuity contracts may face charges for distributions and limits on amounts they can take as a distribution or loan that they may not be aware of.
Data and Research
Different Views About Retirement Plans Shaped COVID-19 Responses Globally
The U.S. can learn from other countries about instilling the mindset of preserving retirement savings and creating different pools of assets to be dipped into in case of emergency.
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