Attorney General Todd Rokita Friday continued his leadership in the fight against ESG (environmental, social and governance) investment. He announced that Indiana is part of a 25-state lawsuit against the Biden administration over a Department of Labor (DOL) rule that would allow 401(k) managers to direct clients’ money toward this discredited strategy instead of rightly exercising their fiduciary duty to maximize financial return for retirement account holders.
The new rule — which runs contrary to the laws outlined in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) — would affect the retirement accounts of millions of people.
“ESG investment strategies are not even designed to maximize financial returns for clients,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Rather, they have been concocted entirely to impose a leftist social and economic agenda that cannot otherwise be implemented through the ballot box.”
Attorney General Rokita has been a national leader in the fight against ESG investing.
He has issued an official advisory opinion clarifying that Indiana and its investment managers must give priority to the financial interests of state employees and retirees — refraining from using investment strategies guided or influenced by ESG considerations.
Among other actions, he is also investigating three of the largest investment managers — BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street.
The new DOL rule, which takes effect on Jan. 30, affects two-thirds of the U.S. population’s retirement savings accounts, totaling $12 trillion in assets. Strict laws enacted as part of ERISA are intended to protect retirement savings from these kinds of unnecessary risks.
“Woke big businesses are collaborating with their leftist allies to subvert the will of the people,” Rokita said. “That’s contrary to the letter and spirit of the law.”
Attorney General Rokita thanked his fellow attorneys general from Texas and Utah for their work organizing the multistate coalition filing this week’s lawsuit.