Participants will vote on a proposal introduced by a group of participants that includes a former US surgeon general, which calls for the fund to make no additional tobacco-related investments, and to begin divestment of all existing tobacco investments.
The CREF board of trustees opposes the proposal, saying in a written statement that participants should have the choice of whether or not to invest in an account that “uses non-financial criteria for its investment program.” Participants opposing tobacco-related investments should invest in the fund’s Social Choice Account, according to the board.
A second resolution, scheduled for the vote, supports the right to bear firearms, and calls on CREF not to invest in entities that publicly advocate legislation to control or prohibit firearms.
Once again, the board of trustees opposes the resolution, noting that it would not be in the interests of participants for the fund “to accommodate the diverse social agendas of each of its participants.” The board also states that the proposal promotes a view “likely to be unpopular” among many of its participants.
The College Retirement Equities Fund, or CREF, holds some $127 billion in plan assets and has over two million participants.
– Camilla Klein firstname.lastname@example.org
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