Posted: Sep 15, 2020 12:01 AM
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For pension beneficiaries across the country, the recent proposals by the Department of Labor are a positive step towards ensuring that accountability and fiscal responsibility take precedence over any other considerations.
Two new rules are currently being weighed. The first, for which the department is currently in the process of sorting through public comment, concerns the role of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments in ERISA-backed pension funds. The second takes aim at “proxy voting,” examining the outsized roles that proxy advisory firms have in investment decisions and examining whether their recommendations are always economically beneficial to pensioners.
These rules rightly reaffirm a fiduciary’s obligation to prioritize financial returns over alternative investment strategies in the management of ERISA-managed pension fund assets. As a former Treasurer of the State of Ohio and Mayor of Cincinnati, I have had firsthand experience overseeing a pension system and I take seriously the responsibility of a fund’s management team to provide financial security to the