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The US Department of Labor (DOL) released on Wednesday, October 13, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights (the proposed rule), which would amend a prior regulation (the 2020 rule).

The Department of Labor (DOL) released on October 13, 2021, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights (Proposed Rule), which would amend a prior regulation (the 2020 Rule). This blog post provides a high-level summary of the Proposed Rule and outlines how it may affect environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing for ERISA plans.

Join Morgan Lewis this month for these programs on employee benefits and executive compensation.
Hinting that the US Department of Labor (DOL) is currently working on guidance related to cryptocurrency, the Acting Assistant Secretary for the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration recently commented that the DOL finds the prospect of cryptocurrency investments in 401(k) plan lineups “troubling.” This may be a sign of DOL focus on the increasing frequency of ERISA plan investments in cryptocurrency vehicles, including funds with cryptocurrency exposures.
We have recently seen a rise in the number of retirement plans exiting mutual funds in favor of collective investment trusts (CITs). Often the transition is simply a change in structure—that is, moving from the same investment manager’s mutual fund to its CIT counterpart. This post explores some potential reasons for this trend by comparing some key differences in the two investment fund structures.
We repeatedly warned over the past few months (here, here, and here), that officials at the highest levels of the DOL were signaling that the DOL would begin an audit initiative focusing on retirement plan cybersecurity practices. Despite plan fiduciaries having had just a handful of weeks to digest the DOL’s only actionable guidance on cybersecurity and privacy matters, the wait is over. We can confirm that the DOL has begun issuing information and document requests under this new initiative, and the requests are probing and indicate serious inquiry by the DOL.
Addressing what they call the four major “crises” facing the nation—COVID-19, the economy, climate, and inequity—US President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have consistently framed many of their most important executive actions and policy proposals as attempts to prioritize one or more of these four policy concerns. Read our LawFlash for a recap of some of the more wide-reaching and impactful (or in some cases, potentially impactful) executive orders, legislative actions, policy proposals, and other developments during the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration.
The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued three long-awaited pieces of subregulatory guidance on April 14, addressing the cybersecurity practices of retirement plan sponsors, service providers, and plan participants, respectively. The guidance provides an important window into the DOL’s expectations of what ERISA’s prudence standards require with respect to cybersecurity matters.