U.S. Department of Labor Releases Proposed Regulations Regarding Plan Fiduciary Proxy Voting

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - September 11, 2020
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On August 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor released proposed regulations that clarify when fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 are required to vote proxies. Under these proposed rules, a plan fiduciary must vote a proxy if the fiduciary prudently determines that the matter being voted upon would have an economic impact on the plan and must not vote a proxy if it determines that the matter being voted would not have an economic impact on the plan. Additionally, the rules provide that the exercise of voting rights must be performed solely for the plan’s economic interest, and that this interest may not be subordinated to nonpecuniary goals.