(Congress Report) – The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, known as WILL, has officially filed a lawsuit on behalf of retirement account participants, Rick Braun and Fred Luehrs, against the U.S. Secretary of Labor concerning a brand new rule that permits the use of environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG) in the realm of retirement investing. According to a release from WILL, the suit was filed with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The group makes the claim that the ESG factors are not only a violation of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which is what provides governance for the operation of retirement plans and helps provide protection for the savings of millions of workers from mismanagement and abuse, but they also undermine the authority of Congress.
WILL Associate Counsel, Kate Spitz, went on to say that, “By injecting highly partisan issues—like climate change and racial justice—into investment strategy, the Biden Administration is jeopardizing the retirement income of over 140 million Americans. Their new rule far exceeds the law and their constitutional authority.”
Rick Braun, a resident of Wisconsin who has a retirement account that has been negatively impacted by the new rule said, “I have been financially responsible, saving to have a future. Now it’s all at risk because politicians in Washington want to gamble it away on their favorite pet projects and causes.”
“The lawsuit asks the court to enter a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction halting the ESG Rule. The suit urges the court to enter a declaratory judgment that the ESG Rule exceeds the statutory authority conferred on the Secretary and the Department by Congress, and thus violates the Administrative Procedure Act,” the organization stated.
As per WILL, “ERISA protects retirement savings from mismanagement and abuse, and imposes fiduciary duties on those who administer the plans. Plan participants are entitled to receive information about their plan, the plan’s performance, and the effect of that performance on the benefits they receive. Congress has provided that a fiduciary shall discharge its duties with respect to an ERISA plan ‘solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries and defraying reasonable expenses of administering the plan.'”
The Secretary of Labor, under the Biden administration, began promoting this new rule last December. The rule allows and even encourages plan administrators to consider ESG factors when they are making investments on behalf of the plan’s beneficiaries. Studies have revealed that noneconomic factors, like ESG, are not nearly as profitable as investing in standard portfolios, like dropping money into an index such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 or even Nasdaq.
Basically, those who are administrators over these plans can risk the beneficiary’s investments in order to make progressive policy dreams come true. It’s the politicization of a person’s investment portfolio at the risk of losing money they had planned to use as their retirement fund.
“WILL has recently joined more than 100 organizations and officials in signing a coalition letter to Congress, opposing the 401(k) rule and supporting the congressional effort to overturn it. Now, WILL is pursing legal efforts to stop the politicization of retirement incomes, especially since Congress never granted President Biden the authority to overrule ERISA,” the report from WILL concluded.
This is the left playing with someone’s livelihood, which, when you look at the current economy, the Biden administration has already done enough of. People who have these retirement investment accounts are attempting to ensure they have adequate cash to care for themselves when they can no longer work. Government programs like Social Security aren’t going to do the trick, so these investment plans are critical. A rule like this needs to be overturned immediately.
Copyright 2023. CongressReport.com
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