Hello NAGDCA Members,
Is it just me, or is this year flying by? We are already halfway through 2023, and it seems like 2024 will be here before we know it. While many of you may have a hard time thinking about anything other than the heat (I’m look at you, Texas), don’t forget NAGDCA has plenty of exciting things happening in the second half of 2023.
At the top of our list is, of course, the Annual Conference. In only a few short months we’ll be in Seattle seeing old friends, learning the latest industry information, and dodging flying fish. The speaker lineup is set, the rooms are filling fast, and registration is open. Be sure to book your tickets before the early bird window expires at the end of July. We can’t wait to welcome you to the Pacific Northwest!
We are also working on two important projects that will serve as the foundation for our future thought leadership. The first is a toolkit to help you navigate the very complex world of costs and fees. Early in the year we assembled a Fees Task Force made up of a select group of experts from the industry and plan sponsor community to help us build a new set of tools that could serve as a primary fees resource for the industry. The toolkit will provide definitions of common terms, explain different ways to structure fees, and provide detailed information on how different choices can affect record keeping, consulting, and asset management costs. We will publish the final product before the Annual Conference, and the Task Force will present the results at a session in Seattle – be sure to check it out.
While cost is one important consideration for your plan, our Research and Content Committee has undertaken the immense task of updating our Best Practice Guides to help develop baseline information for other foundational topics, such as Plan Administration and Participant Engagement. This rewrite was long overdue, and the new versions will update and consolidate the information you need to be successful as an administrator or committee member. Our goal was to provide helpful guides for new and long-time members alike. We are applying the finishing touches and should have everything ready to go by the end of the summer.
Finally, we appreciate all the time many of you have taken to help our legislative efforts this year, especially regarding catch-up contributions. We had hoped this would be a quiet year legislatively following the passage of SECURE 2.0, allowing us to look forward and build a new set of Legislative Priorities. However, the unintended consequences of some of the law’s provisions have led us to spend most of our time working on fixes. I want to thank all of you for the time you have taken on calls, with signatures, with quotes, or just telling me your story. The legislative process is complex and slow, but the more you engage with us, the more clearly we can voice your concerns. We anticipate guidance and resolution on our outstanding issues in the very near future, and we will continue to keep you informed at every step.
All the Best,
By Diana McDonald, Groom Law Group
ESG-related issues have been a major issue in the 118th Congress, particularly in the Republican-held House of Representatives where lawmakers have focused on both oversight and legislative proposals.
On March 1, the Senate passed, by a vote of 50-46, a disapproval resolution of the Biden Administration’s ESG final rule from November 2022. The House had passed the measure the prior day by a vote of 216-204. The votes were mostly along party lines, with only three Democrats – Rep. Jared Golden of Maine and Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana – supporting the measure. President Biden then vetoed the resolution, and the House failed to muster enough votes to override his veto. Consequently, the rule remains in effect.
To date, the House Oversight Committee has held two hearings on ESG. On May 10, the Attorneys General of Utah and Alabama testified for the Republican majority and the Illinois State Treasurer testified for the Democratic minority. On June 6, the committee held a second hearing with witnesses from think tanks and academia. The hearings have been hyper-partisan, with statements like, “ESG is just window dressing for liberal activism and radical far-left ideology” and “[Big Oil is behind] the propaganda of climate denialism” frequently uttered.
The House Financial Services Committee also plans to focus on ESG-related legislation throughout the month of July. Committee member Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) has reintroduced H.R. 4237 with Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) to amend the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and ERISA to specify that a fiduciary must make decisions based on pecuniary factors alone, unless certain written documents are produced. This legislation also requires the Comptroller General of the United States to prepare a report on the potential impact of underfunded state and local pensions on the federal government and the extent to which those plans consider ESG factors in their investments. The bill was reportedly drafted in consultation with House Education and the Workforce Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and former Trump Administration Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia.
We expect this topic to stay at the forefront of lawmakers’ attention for months to come. Stay tuned for further developments.
REGISTER TODAY FOR #NAGDCA23
The NAGDCA Annual Conference is the can’t-miss event for the public sector defined contribution retirement plan industry. The 2023 conference program features over 50 leaders and experts from across the governmental defined contribution industry discussing the latest topics and trends. Check out the agenda to preview the session topics and meet the speakers.
Click here to register today!
REGISTRATION OPEN | Using Auto Features to Close Savings and Participation Gaps
Tuesday, July 18 | 4:00 -5:00 pm ET
Join NAGDCA for the next Connect event on July 18, featuring the City of Milwaukee and Voya Financial. Learn about actions taken by the City to incorporate auto-enrollment and re-enrollment features in its plan design and the role those features play in closing savings and participation gaps for Black and Latino employees.
Beth Conradson Cleary from the City of Milwaukee and representatives from Voya will discuss the case study with Executive Director Matt Petersen and answer questions from attendees.
Click here to register.
2024 COMMITTEE SIGN UPS DUE JULY 12
Volunteering with NAGDCA is a great way to get involved with the community and connect with other public sector retirement professionals. We’re looking for individuals from across the industry with all levels of experience and expertise.
Click here to learn more and volunteer!