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Lawsuits & Litigation

Republican Attorneys General File Lawsuit Over New “Woke” Retirement Rules

— January 27, 2023

The coalition of conservative attorneys general claim that a new rule allowing fiduciaries to consider environmental, social, and governance concerns when investing retirement funds will cause Americans to lose much-needed money.

A coalition of 25 states have filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration, accusing the White House of implementing a climate change rule that could cost Americans their retirement savings.

According to FOX News, the lawsuit was recently filed by Utah Attorney General Steve Reyes, who is joined by another 24 conservative attorneys general.

The lawsuit seeks to challenge a rule allowing wealth managers and financial advisers to consider environmental, social, and governance considerations into investment decisions for retirement accounts—a move that Republican attorneys general fear could diminish working Americans’ investment returns.

“The Biden administration is promoting its climate change agenda by putting everyday people’s retirement money at risk,” Reyes told FOX News. “Americans are already suffering from the current economic downturn.”

“Permitting asset managers to direct hard-working Americans’ money to ESG investments puts trillions of dollars of retirement savings at risk in exchange for someone else’s political agenda,” Reyes added. “We are acting with urgency on this case because this illegal rule is set to take effect next week. It must be stopped.”

Reyes and his fellow attorneys general have since claimed that the rule violates provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

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The law, notes FOX News, requires that retirement plan assets be held for the singular and exclusive purpose of providing benefits to their participants.

Under E.R.I.S.A., fiduciaries must act solely in the beneficiaries’ interest.

In a politically-charged statement, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry told FOX News that the rule change allows fiduciaries to inappropriately consider “woke” concerns.

“This is about protecting retirees in Louisiana and the rest of the country,” Landry said. “Investments should be made using sound economic principles, not woke policies. These firms have a responsibility to invest with their client’s best financial interests in mind rather than Biden’s disastrous agenda.”

Texas Attorney General Paxton, another Republican supporting the lawsuit, released a similar set of comments, positing the White House as a menacing liberal force intent on stripping Americans of their hard-earned retirement savings.

“This rule is an affront to every American concerned about their retirement account,” Paxton told FOX. “The fact that the Biden Administration is now opting to risk the financial security of working-class Americans to advance a woke political agenda is insulting and illegal.”

“For generations, federal law has required that fiduciaries place their clients’ financial interests at the forefront, and I intend to fight the Biden Administration in court to ensure that they cannot put hard-working Americans’ retirement savings at risk,” Paxton added


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