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ESG INVESTING IN ERISA RETIREMENT PLANS



Investment managers and other Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plan fiduciaries well know that they are not permitted to sacrifice investment returns or assume greater investment risks to advance social goals. While Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria investments that don’t sacrifice returns or hold greater investment risk are permitted in ERISA plans, a 2020 U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rules modification established a higher bar for including ESG investments in a qualified plan and cast a cloud over ESG investment options.


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