US Senate/Congressional Letter Condemning DOL/EBSA Proposal On Proxy Voting by ERISA Fiduciaries

Twenty U.S. Senators and Members of Congress, including Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin, Tammy Baldwin, Patty Murray, Bernie Sanders, and Sherrod Brown, and Maxine Waters have sent a very strong comment letter to EBSA/DOL criticizing the proposal on proxy voting by ERISA fiduciaries in the strongest terms. The full letter is below. An excerpt:

The proposal would impose needless and arbitrary requirements on a plan fiduciary when it comes to proxy voting. Specifically, it would require a plan fiduciary to vote any proxy when the matter being voted upon would have an economic impact on the plan and prohibit the plan fiduciary from voting when it would not. In practice, this proposal does the opposite of protecting retirees—it decreases the value of retirement plans’ investments by discouraging fiduciaries from using a key tool to fight for the financial interests of the workers and retirees they serve.

This blatant attempt at disenfranchising ERISA-governed plans is ill-advised, unjustified, and unnecessary. Accordingly, we urge the Department to withdraw its proposed rule and refocus its efforts on bolstering sorely needed protections for ERISA plan participants and beneficiaries.

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