General Session 4: The Big Initiatives: ESG & Rollovers
DOL’s regulatory agenda lists several projects, but a number of these will be of particular interest to retirement plan advisors. Among them are the fiduciary duties with respect to ESG investing, proxy voting, and further revisions to the rules defining investment advice fiduciaries and prohibited transaction class exemptions associated with those rules, a project that was begun in 2010 under the Obama Administration. At this point, most service providers providing some form of investment guidance are resigned to the fact that they will be treated as ERISA fiduciaries, and are looking for concrete rules to structure their policies and procedures. The DOL might also issue additional guidance regarding target-date funds, private equity investments in 401(k) plans, and, at some future point, the prudence of providing bitcoin options in 401(k) plans. The SEC will also be weighing in on several of these issues.
Marcia S. Wagner is the founder of The Wagner Law Group, one of the nation’s largest law firms specializing in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), employee benefits, and executive compensation. Ms. Wagner has practiced employee benefits law for more than 34 years. She is an authority on qualified and non-qualified plans, fiduciary issues, deferred compensation, and welfare benefit arrangements, with experience in plan design and drafting, compliance, tax planning, and consultation on all aspects of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. Ms. Wagner also serves as an expert witness in ERISA litigation. She has written hundreds of articles and 24 books. She is a highly sought-after lecturer, is widely quoted in financial journals, and has been a guest on Fox, CNN, Bloomberg, and NBC. She earned a general course degree with class one distinction (top 5 percent of all foreign students) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a BA summa cum laude from Cornell University, and a JD from Harvard Law School.