March 1, 2023

VIDEO: Ricketts Pushes to Protect Retirement Savings from Woke Regulators Not Prioritizing Higher Returns

March 1, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) today joined a bipartisan majority of his colleagues in supporting the repeal of the Biden administration’s environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) regulation that would politicize Americans’ retirement savings accounts in favor of liberal ideological preferences. The vote passed 50-46.

“With Americans’ savings rates near record lows, the Biden Administration is making it even harder to save for the future,” said Senator Ricketts. “These ESG funds have a lower rate of return that will result in a poorer quality of life, making it harder for grandparents to see their grandkids and leaving families with less flexibility as they plan for their future. Nebraskans don’t deserve to sacrifice their retirement savings for a woke federal mandate from President Biden.”

In November, President Biden’s Department of Labor issued a rule that explicitly allows fiduciaries of ERISA retirement plans to consider ESG factors when making investment decisions. In doing so, the Labor Department replaced a standard that mandated investment decisions be made in exclusive pursuit of the highest possible returns. A study by NYU and UCLA found that ESG funds significantly underperformed the larger market, with ESG funds averaging a 6.3% return compared to an 8.9% return for non-ESG funds.

Senator Ricketts made additional comments during a press conference led by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) prior to the floor vote.

Watch the video HERE and read a transcript below.


Senator Ricketts: “What this boils down to is the Biden administration is putting politics above workers’ retirements, and what kind of quality of life they’re going to have in retirement. This could mean two-thirds of workers’ retirements are going to put into investments that they don’t want to have without their consent.

“And what’s that going to mean? Well, we already heard that ESG funds have higher fees, lower returns, that means less money in retirement. Nebraskans don’t deserve that – Americans don’t deserve that.

“What we deserve is to have the ability to retire to the quality of life that we want. If this goes into place, if this is not revoked, this rule, that means that grandparents, for example, are going to have a harder time seeing their grandkids. It’s going to impact people’s quality of life. Families will have less flexibility.

“This is an important vote here today to say, ‘Hey look, we have to make sure that when people are investing for retirement, they are going to have the best opportunity to have the quality of life they want in retirement and following this woke political agenda is not going to accomplish that.”


Follow Senator Ricketts: InstagramTwitter, and Facebook

To join Senator Ricketts’ press list, please click here.