Not surprising most of us, the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) announced that it won’t enforce recently published rules on Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments and proxy voting rights.
The DOL said that it won’t enforce either final rule or pursue enforcement actions against any plan fiduciary for failing to comply with them.
The DOL published its final rule on retirement plan investing, “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments,” in November. The final rule said plan fiduciaries should select investments and investment courses of action based solely on consideration of “pecuniary,” or financial, factors. This rule essentially would curb the use of ESG funds.
The DOL published its final rule “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights” in December. It addressed obligations of plan fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when voting in connection with plan investments in shares of stock.