Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced a bill last week that would create a new option for federal employees to put their retirement savings in funds that are free from investment in fossil fuel companies.
The Retirement Investments for a Sustainable Economy (RISE) Act (S.3424) would create a “Climate Choice” stock option under the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). While the TSP currently offers investors options for the amount and risk allocation of their TSP accounts, it does not offer federal employees control over the types of industries in which their money is invested.
“As climate chaos ramps up, all Americans deserve the option to divest from the fossil fuel industry,” said Merkley. “For the first time, this bill will give millions of federal employees the power to ensure their retirement funds are invested in a more sustainable, socially responsible investment portfolio.”
The RISE Act mandates a report within one year from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examining the risk for investors from TSP holdings in fossil fuel companies given policies to keep average global temperature increases to 2º Celsius. The RISE Act also directs the GAO to provide a divestment mechanism for the TSP should the report show risk to investors from fossil fuel holdings.
A summary of the RISE Act is here (1-page PDF).