GAO-18-398 Retirement Plan Investing: Clearer Information on Consideration of Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Would Be Helpful

Posted: 5 Jun 2018

See all articles by Sharon Hermes

Sharon Hermes

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Charles A. Jeszeck

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Michael J. Collins

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Seyda Wentworth

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Laura Hoffrey

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Mick Ray

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Adrianne Cline

Independent

Date Written: May 22, 2018

Abstract

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors have emerged as a way for investors, such as retirement plans, to capture information on potential risks and opportunities that may otherwise not be taken into account. For example, climate change is expected to have widespread impacts according to a key federal study and may pose significant financial risks for long term investors, such as retirement plans that must manage risk to provide benefits for many years to come. A number of large plans in other countries have adopted ESG strategies, but less is known about their use among U.S. plans. Given the emerging use of ESG factors, GAO was asked to examine how such factors are used by retirement plans in the United States and other countries. GAO examined: (1) the use of ESG factors by U.S. retirement plans, (2) the use of ESG factors by selected retirement plans in other countries, and (3) DOL’s guidance on the use of ESG factors by private sector U.S. retirement plans.

Keywords: Retirement Savings, ESG, Investment Management

Suggested Citation

Hermes, Sharon and Jeszeck, Charles A. and Collins, Michael Joseph and Wentworth, Seyda and Hoffrey, Laura and Ray, Mick and Cline, Adrianne, GAO-18-398 Retirement Plan Investing: Clearer Information on Consideration of Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Would Be Helpful (May 22, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3183795

Sharon Hermes

Government Accountability Office (GAO) ( email )

441 G St., NW
Washington, DC 20548
United States

Charles A. Jeszeck (Contact Author)

Government Accountability Office (GAO) ( email )

441 G St., NW
Washington, DC 20548
United States

Michael Joseph Collins

Government Accountability Office (GAO) ( email )

441 G St., NW
Washington, DC 20548
United States

Seyda Wentworth

Government Accountability Office (GAO) ( email )

441 G St., NW
Washington, DC 20548
United States

Laura Hoffrey

Government Accountability Office (GAO) ( email )

441 G St., NW
Washington, DC 20548
United States

Mick Ray

Government Accountability Office (GAO) ( email )

441 G St., NW
Washington, DC 20548
United States

Adrianne Cline

Independent ( email )

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