U.S. Labor Department proposes counter rule to Trump-era investment measures

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FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of the Department of Labor is seen in Washington, DC, US, May 13, 2021. Businesshala/Andrew Kelly
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WASHINGTON (Businesshala) – The U.S. Labor Department on Wednesday proposed a rule aimed at overriding a pair of Trump-era measures that would limit retirement and pension plans to climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. was stopped from considering it. Investment.

The DOL proposal, which is subject to a 60-comment period before adoption, is said by the agency in March that it will not implement its 2020 rules to curb investments based on environmental and social factors, which amount to trillions of dollars. do cover. Shareholder voting in retirement accounts, and corporate meetings.

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Trump administration officials had said the rules focus investment managers on “material” risks to retirees’ financial interests and returns, rather than potential political issues.

The agency’s proposal Wednesday, however, responds to criticism by investors and their advocates, who have pushed companies on corporate ballots to address issues ranging from systemic racism to climate change, and say that under Trump The business-friendly measures adopted were misguided.

The resolution follows a May executive order signed by President Joe Biden to direct the federal government to implement policies that help protect American families from climate-related financial risk.

“This will strengthen workers’ retirement savings and pension resilience by removing artificial barriers – and the chilling impact on environmental, social and governance investments – caused by pre-administration regulations,” said Ali Khawar, an acting assistant secretary at DOL.

“Climate change and other ESG factors can be financially important and, when they occur, considering them will inevitably lead to better long-term risk-adjusted returns.”

Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Jan Harvey

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