Use the pages under Investments to learn about the different investment options available for retirement accounts. Social(k) provides access to thousands of traditional investments, but we specialize in aggregating ESG, Environmental, Social and Governance, screened options.
In May of 1998 the Dept Of Labor responded to a request from Calvert Funds asking if SRI screens applied to retirement plan fund decisions was allowed. This response is what allowed retirement plans to expand into Environmental, Social or Governance screened funds. Here is a link to The Calvert Letter, and a excerpt:
"The Department has expressed the view that the fiduciary standards of sections 403 and 404 do not preclude consideration of collateral benefits, such as those offered by a "socially- responsible" fund, in a fiduciary's evaluation of a particular investment opportunity. However, the existence of such collateral benefits may be decisive only if the fiduciary determines that the investment offering the collateral benefits is expected to provide an investment return commensurate to alternative investments having similar risks. In this regard, the Department has construed the requirements that a fiduciary act solely in the interest of, and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and beneficiaries, as prohibiting a fiduciary from subordinating the interests of participants and beneficiaries in their retirement income to unrelated objectives. In other words, in deciding whether and to what extent to invest in a particular investment, or to make a particular fund available as a designated investment alternative, a fiduciary must ordinarily consider only factors relating to the interests of plan participants and beneficiaries in their retirement income. A decision to make an investment, or to designate an investment alternative, may not be influenced by non-economic factors unless the investment ultimately chosen for the plan, when judged solely on the basis of its economic value, would be equal to or superior to alternative available investments.2
In discharging investment duties, it is the view of the Department that fiduciaries must, among other things, consider the role the particular investment or investment course of action in the plan's investment portfolio, taking into account such factors as diversification, liquidity, and risk/return characteristics. Because every investment necessarily causes a plan to forgo other investment opportunities, fiduciaries also must consider expected return on alternative investments with similar risks available to the plan. 3
Your letter requests guidance concerning the application of the above standards to a plan fiduciary's selection of a "socially-responsible" mutual fund as a plan investment or as a designated investment alternative for an ERISA section 404(c) plan.
With regard to your request, it is the view of the Department that the same standards set forth in sections 403 and 404 of ERISA governing a fiduciary's investment decisions, discussed above, apply to a fiduciary's selection of a "socially-responsible" mutual fund as a plan investment or, in the case of an ERISA section 404(c) plan, a designated investment alternative under the plan. Accordingly, if the above requirements are met, the selection of a "socially- responsible" mutual fund as either a plan investment or a designated investment alternative for an ERISA section 404(c) plan would not, in itself, be inconsistent with the fiduciary standards set forth in sections 403(c) and 404(a)(1) of ERISA."
Asset allocation says, "Don't put all your eggs into one basket." Adding ESG screens takes this one step further. These screens are similar to checking that all twelve baskets have solid bottoms and the twelve shoppers with twelve baskets and eggs can all make it home.
Mutual Funds, Exchange Traded Funds, Collective Trusts, and now Separate Accounts. Find information on investment firms style, performance, cost and screens on the following pages in this section.