PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending August 7th, 2020

Happy Friday, readers! The evolving topic of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing continues to gain momentum in 2020, with one source recently telling PLANADVISER that “ESG-aware” investment products will one day soon become the norm, rather than an exception. Others wonder whether federal regulations will hold back the use of ESG within retirement plans. With all this in mind, we have collected below some of our recent coverage of ESG topics. We hope you will learn something and share some of what you read with a client or colleague.

Editor's choice
Criticism Mounts Against DOL's ESG Proposal
Proposed regulations often generate some controversy, whether they are focused on expansive issues, such as protecting the environment, or on narrower matters, such as the use of certain types of investments within tax-qualified retirement plans. This has certainly been the case for the recent regulation proposed by the Department of Labor focused on restricting the use of environmental, social and governance investing principles within defined contribution retirement plans. Read more >
Why It’s Hard to Build ESG Consensus
A big part of the challenge is that everyone’s view of exactly what constitutes social and environmental responsibility is different. Read more >
There’s an Untapped Market for ESG Investing
More investors than research has shown are interested in environmental, social and governance investing, but most don’t speak out, and many need education to help them invest in what matters to them. Read more >
ESG and Fixed Income—a Natural Fit
Both quantitative and qualitative research suggest bonds issued by companies with favorable environmental, social and governance ratings can offer downside mitigation during periods of market turbulence. Read more >
Despite DOL’s Proposed Tightening, ESG Can Still Shine
It is not all doom and gloom for plan sponsors and participants who want these investments. Here’s what advisers should know about the new rules proposed by the Department of Labor.  Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
Stimulus Bill Extends Some Provisions of the CARES Act

It also provides a way for retirement plan sponsors to avoid a partial plan termination.

Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawals, Taxes and Your Retirement Plan Clients
Coronavirus-related withdrawals made in 2020 were a financial lifeline for some, but they could also turn into a major tax headache for others.
Warn Your Clients: Don’t Abuse Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawals
Though retirement plans can allow individuals to self-certify that they qualify for a penalty-free coronavirus-related distribution, should the IRS discover otherwise during a future audit, a participant can be subject to substantial penalties.
Many Near-Retirees Don't Understand Social Security Benefits

More than one-third failed a basic Social Security quiz administered by MassMutual.

The Most Common Retirement Plan Testing Mistakes

By alerting plan sponsors to the issues they see most often, advisers can help their clients navigate IRS testing rules.

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