Sunshine State DC Participants Will Have 'Terror-Free' Investment Option

June 4, 2009 ( - A bill signed into law by Florida Governor Charlie Crist establishes a defined contribution program "terror-free" investment option for state employees.

A news release quoted bill sponsor Senator Ted Deutch as explaining that the measure also requires the state’s fire and police pension funds to identify holdings in companies doing business with Iran or Sudan and divest the holdings by 2010.

According to the Deutch statement, S.B. 538 requires that the investors in the $5-billion state defined contribution plan be offered a “terror-free” investment option by March 1, 2010. The bill mandates that the designated fund has to not be subject to divesture under the state’s two-year-old Protecting Florida’s Investments Act (PFIA), which created a list of targeted companies doing business with Sudan or Iran (see  FL Pension Funds Join the Divestment Bandwagon ).

Once on the PFIA list, the law requires that state money managers will be barred from investing in the companies and may be required to sell any holdings in them. Deutch’s announcement said the state has divested more than $1 billion from companies on the list since 2007.

“The state of Florida has made it clear that its citizens will not aid the genocide in Darfur or contribute to Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program,” said Deutch, in the statement. “The Governor has reinforced the commitment of our state’s citizens to not support companies who choose to put profit over international security.”

Text of the Senate bill is available  here .