Our colleagues Kurt E. Linsenmayer and Cristopher D. Jones just issued an update on the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposal to change the standards for ERISA plan fiduciaries when evaluating investments or voting proxies. Their article discusses the proposed changes and their implications. The DOL’s proposal stands in stark contrast to the ESG-related rules adopted under the prior administration. Those rules, which were never enforced, could have severely hampered the access of retirement plan investors to certain types of ESG strategies by: (i) preventing ERISA retirement plan accounts from investing based on “non-pecuniary” factors in ESG strategies if doing so would sacrifice returns or increase risks for participants, and (ii) prohibiting retirement plan fiduciaries from voting on shareholder resolutions with no direct economic impact on a plan.