WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced publication of a Request for Information seeking public comment on what actions, if any, the department should take under federal law to protect retirement savings and pensions from risks associated with changes in climate.

The RFI follows President Biden’s Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk which directs the department to identify actions it can take under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986, and other relevant laws, to safeguard the life savings and pensions of U.S. workers and families from the threats of climate-related financial risk. Together, ERISA and FERSA provide oversight to more than $13 trillion in assets.

Published by the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the RFI enables the public to help inform any potential future departmental work to secure retirement savings as directed by the executive order.

“The public and stakeholders in general are a valuable source of information for us. They can help us identify and explore actions to take to better protect the hard-earned retirement savings of America’s families,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Ali Khawar. “We encourage all interested parties to submit comments, and to share their thoughts and ideas.”

The RFI solicits general input on agency actions that can be taken under ERISA, FERSA and other relevant laws, and poses specific questions related to data collection and fiduciary issues under ERISA, the federal Thrift Savings Plan under FERSA and other miscellaneous topics. The RFI follows a proposed rule published by the department, Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights. The RFI deals with a broader set of questions than the proposed rule and is a different initiative. 

The RFI’s comment period will run for 90 days after publication in the Federal Register and the RFI includes instructions on how to submit comments.

Read the Request for Information seeking public comment on what actions, if any, the department should take to protect retirement savings and pensions from risks associated with changes in climate.

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