New Guidance for Plan Fiduciaries on Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs)
The Employee Benefit Security Administration recently released Interpretive Bulletin (IB 2015-1), which clarifies ERISA fiduciary obligations with respect to Economically Targeted Investments (“ETIs”). ETIs are investments selected for the economic benefits they create apart from their financial return, such as environmental, societal or governmental (“ESG”) benefits. The new guidance makes it easier for plan fiduciaries to incorporate ETIs or investment strategies that provide ESG benefits into a plan’s investment portfolio. Simply stated, fiduciaries can now invest considering ESG factors so long as the ETIs have a competitive price and traceable investment record.