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Sustainability Matters

3 Challenges for Getting ESG Funds Into Retirement Plans

The new CalSavers plan wanted an ESG option but couldn't find one.


The recent decision made by the new CalSavers Retirement Savings Program not to offer an environmental, social, and governance option, despite its preference for doing so, highlights the challenges for getting ESG funds into retirement plans.

The CalSavers Retirement Savings Program is a new state-run defined-contribution plan for employees in California who work for companies that don't offer their own retirement-savings plans. CalSavers issued a request for proposal, or RFP, in May 2018 for a simple lineup of passively managed funds, consisting of money market, investment-grade bond, global-equity, and target-date options. It also wanted an ESG option.

Jon Hale does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.