Firm News

Robert Gower Authors Law360 Article: Retirement Plan Rule Throws Cold Water On ESG Factors

Robert Gower published the article “Retirement Plan Rule Throws Cold Water On ESG Factors” in Law360 on November 16, 2020. The article gives an overview of the Department of Labor’s Final Rule, explains impacts of the Final Rule, and outlines compliance deadlines and what to expect moving forward.

In the article, Robert states, “The significance of the Final Rule cannot be overstated. While plan fiduciaries have long awaited formal guidance from the DOL with respect to ESG considerations in selecting investments and investment courses of actions, there are understandably sensitivities in regulating around ESG investing, often driven by the desires of participants to invest in line with their moral and/or social beliefs. In fact, the DOL received over 1,100 written comments on its proposal prior to issuing the Final Rule. Even in the wake of these comments and concerns, the DOL’s position remains clear: that ERISA’s fiduciary duty of loyalty requires plan investment focus to be on pecuniary factors, and the financial interests of participants or beneficiaries may not be subordinated to other motives (even at their own request).”

Robert concentrates his practice in fiduciary responsibility as well as tax-qualified retirement plan design, compliance, and administration. He routinely works with plan sponsors and fiduciaries to 401(k), defined benefit, cash balance, and profit sharing plans.

Click here to read the full article.