Proposals Supporting ESG in Retirement Plans Introduced

Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and co-sponsors Sean Casten (D-IL), Juan Vargas (D-CA), and Dean Phillips (D-MN) have introduced the Freedom to Invest in a Sustainable Future Act. The bill would amend ERISA to provide that a fiduciary may consider environmental, social, governance and similar factors when carrying out investment decisions—and may use such considerations as tie-breakers with competing investments. A companion bill was introduced by Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and several democrat co-sponsors in the Senate. The proposals come as the Department of Labor’s rule—finalized in November and generally effective January 30, 2023—faces legal challenges.