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In Bloomberg Law, Josh Lichtenstein Discusses ESG 401(k) Rule Challenges

Practices: ERISA, ESG, CSR and Business and Human Rights, Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits

The US Labor Department is facing challenges as its attempt to implement a climate-friendly retirement investment rule encounters legal peril in a Texas federal court jurisdiction known for striking down consequential employee benefit regulations. More than two dozen Republican state attorneys general are attempting to block a DOL final rule permitting private-sector employers to consider environmental, social, and corporate governance factors when choosing pension investments.

Joshua Lichtenstein, partner and head of the ERISA and fiduciary benefits practice, told Bloomberg Law that, “what happened with the fiduciary rule was devastating to the Labor Department.”

“Many of the same states suing the department are simultaneously ridding their own government-sponsored pension plans of any ESG investment criteria and even shunning companies that market socially and environmentally conscious funds,” he said.

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