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DOL proposed rule would expand ESG investment options for retirement funds


The U.S. Labor Department proposed a rule today that would greatly expand the ways in which retirement and pension plans can invest in ESG products, Bloomberg Law reported. The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration’s proposal would reverse the former administration’s regulations on the use of environmental, social, and corporate governance factors in retirement portfolios and fiduciaries’ use of proxy voting powers in favor of social or political goals. The EBSA in March said it wouldn’t enforce either Trump-era rule. The preamble to the proposed rule notes that the DOL last year removed most of the language specific to ESG investments from the final versions of the Trump-era rules governing 401(k)s and other retirement plans. The proposal seeks to clarify that ESG factors can be financially material. The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rule once it’s published in the Federal Register.

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