The media tends to portray Republican Administrations as restricting ERISA plans’ ability to make investments based on environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) factors and Democratic Administrations as making such investments easier. The truth, however, is that the actual legal impact of the back and forth of regulatory changes is quite small. This CLE will discuss the Department of Labor’s new rule entitled “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights.” We will situate the new rule in its historical context by comparing the new rule to the Biden Administration’s proposed rule from October 2021 and the Trump Administration’s 2020 final rule on the same subject. We will also examine the legal impact of the DOL’s new rule and address key takeaways for employer plan fiduciaries.
Key topics to be discussed:
Situating the new rule in its historical context
Evaluating the legal impact of the new rule
Addressing steps employer plan fiduciaries can take to ensure compliance with the new rule
Avoiding potential traps for the unwary
Date: February 10, 2023
Richard C. Shea | Covington & Burling LLP
Richard Shea is immediate past chair of Covington’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice. Richard is widely regarded as a leading authority on benefit plan design, whether legacy, innovative, simple, or complex. His practice spans the full breadth of activities needed to help his clients resolve novel, sensitive, or intractable issues. His approach focuses on developing important new legal insights and ideas, and then combining them into effective litigation, legislative, regulatory, transactional, and/or benefit design strategies for his clients.
Before joining Covington in 1991, Richard served as Associate Benefits Tax Counsel at the Treasury Department, where, together with his colleagues at the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service, he was responsible for developing federal tax legislation and regulations governing employee benefits and executive compensation, including regulations implementing the landmark Tax Reform Act of 1986.
Jason M. Levy | Covington & Burling LLP
Jason Levy helps clients navigate complex issues related to employee benefits and executive compensation, including compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. Jason utilizes his deep knowledge in the ERISA space and his background as a former litigator to craft advice that is both practical and strategic. His practice includes:
Counseling on design, establishment, administration, and maintenance of qualified defined contribution and defined benefit retirement plans
Designing, drafting, and amending a wide range of executive compensation arrangements, including nonqualified deferred compensation plans, equity incentive plans, and change in control bonus plans
Representing employment, human resources, and benefit interests in mergers and acquisitions
Advising clients on multiemployer plan operations and risk management, including withdrawal liability and plan funding issues
Providing benefits expertise in legislative initiatives
Jack G. Lund | Covington & Burling LLP
Jack Lund is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office where he is a member of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group. Jack advises clients on all aspects of employee benefits including tax-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, Individual Retirement Arrangements, global incentive plans, executive compensation, ERISA litigation, and corporate transactions. In so doing, Jack is particularly adept at designing and implementing comprehensive strategies that solve his clients’ most difficult regulatory and legislative problems.
Adam Spiegel | Covington & Burling LLP
Adam Spiegel is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office. He is a member of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group, and the Energy and Environmental practice group.
I. Situating the new rule in its historical context | 11:00am – 11:15am
II. Evaluating the legal impact of the new rule | 11:15am – 11:30am
III. Addressing steps employer plan fiduciaries can take to ensure compliance with the new rule | 11:30am – 11:45am
IV. Avoiding potential traps for the unwary | 11:45am – 12:00pm