House Proposal Would Modify Fiduciary Investment Selection Requirements

Representative Greg Murphy (R-NC), along with co-sponsor Representatives Carol Miller (R-WV), David Schweikert (R-AZ), and Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) have introduced HR 9198, the Safeguarding Investment Options for Retirement Act.

The bill would require plan fiduciaries to base investment decisions on only pecuniary factors. A fiduciary is not prohibited from considering an investment option that promotes nonpecuniary benefits so long as participant interests are not subordinated to other objectives or additional financial risks related to nonpecuniary factors. Additionally, such investment cannot be a default investment for the plan. The term pecuniary factor means a factor that a fiduciary prudently determines is expected to have a material effect on the risk and return of an investment based on appropriate investment horizons consistent with the plan’s investment objectives and the funding policy established under ERISA.

The bill would further amend the Internal Revenue Code to require that if a trust contains investment options with nonpecuniary factors, such trust shall also include investment options based solely on pecuniary factors in order to be qualified.