CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia is part of a group of states that are suing the United States Department of Labor over a new rule for investment practices that they say “would allow employers and investment managers to invest employee retirement savings in a way that benefits social causes and corporate goals even if it adversely affects the return to the employee.”
The rule in question, the 2022 Investment Rule, or Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights, is publically available on the Federal Register’s website.
The major provisions of the final rule, as stated in the Federal Register, amends the current regulation to make it clear that a fiduciary’s determination with respect to an investment or investment course of action must be based on factors that the fiduciary reasonably determines are relevant to a risk and return analysis and that such factors may include the economic effects of climate change and other environmental, social, or governance factors on the particular investment or investment course of action, among other changes.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is considering running for Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D) Senate seat or for West Virginia governor, takes issue with the changes, which are set to go into effect on Monday, Jan. 30.
“The Biden administration can try to spin this any which way to support their narrative, but this is plain and simple: they are circumventing Congress and pushing backdoor liberal policies to take hostage the pension funds of millions of hard working Americans, all to advance their ESG agenda,” Morrisey said in a press release.
Utah’s attorney general is leading the coalition and the attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming are also suing.