WASHINGTON, D.C. [3/10/21]— U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) today backed a Biden Administration decision to stop enforcing a Department of Labor rule from 2020 that discouraged retirement plan managers from considering factors like climate change and racial justice in their investment decisions. She said the move will remove unnecessary regulatory burdens and give investment managers flexibility to offer investment options that take into account environmental, social and governmental (ESG) criteria when deciding where to invest.
“As workers and retirees increasingly ask that their retirement plans take issues of racial equity and climate change into account in their investment decisions, I believe it’s important to avoid putting in place burdensome and unnecessary rules that will prevent investment managers from meeting the demands of workers and retirees,” said Sen. Smith, who led Senate opposition to the rule last year. “I commend today’s action by the Department of Labor to begin reversing a misguided, Trump Administration rule. Today is an important step towards providing flexibility for retirement plans to meet the demands of participants and beneficiaries in their investment decisions.”
In 2020, Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, joined forces with Several Senate colleagues in opposition to the Trump-era rule.