Group Encourages Clean Energy Funds in 401(k)s

The Renewable Energy Initiative (TREI) is encouraging companies across the country to add existing publicly traded renewable energy funds to their 401(k) investment menus.

In a news release, TREI said a March 2010 poll found 89% of Americans support increased wind and other forms of renewable energy production, yet less than 1% of 401(k) plans and IRAs currently offer Americans the opportunity to invest in renewable energy. James Muchmore, a corporate securities attorney with Patton Boggs LLP, contended in the news release:  “Providing employees with the opportunity to invest in the fast growing clean energy sector can generate a remarkable $350 billion in new renewable energy investment over four years. This is a win-win for business and the environment.”  

Denise Kay,  a TREI board member and legislative director for the Society of Human Resource Management said that by adding these funds, companies can “increase employee satisfaction and attract new customers.”    

The group is declaring October “National Renewable Energy 401(k) Month” at the 3rd Annual International Conference on Energy, Logistics and the Environment, sponsored by the Global Commerce Forum.  

A Renewable Energy 401(k) panel, which opened the conference on October 8, included large 401(k) plan providers and renewable energy companies speaking on the ease of adding a renewable energy fund choice to a plan.  

Last year, a task force from Colorado proposed offering a tax credit to businesses that add a renewable energy fund to their 401(k) plans (see Is Your 401(k) Ready to “Go Green?”).