OPINION – DiNapoli pension fund decision victory for retirees, climate Thursday, January 21, 2021. With…
Sole Trustee Authority Remains Intact…A Victory for Retirees!
Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced on December 9, 2020 that the New York State Pension Fund (Fund), valued at an estimated $226 billion, has adopted a goal to transition its portfolio to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Under DiNapoli’s plan, all energy sector investments in the Fund will be reviewed by 2025 and investments that do not meet climate risk standards will be divested. This year alone, the Comptroller has already divested from 22 coal companies.
Click below to watch a message from Comptroller DiNapoli to RPEA Members on his announcement. If you’d prefer to watch the meeting with closed captioning, click the CC icon on the button right corner of the YouTube video below. If the CC is underlined in red, that means the subtitles are on.
The Comptroller’s announcement is consistent with the Comptroller’s constitutional role as Sole Trustee of the Pension Fund. RPEA has opposed legislation which would have pre-empted that authority by having the legislature dictate certain investments or divestitures.
The sponsors of an existing bill regarding fossil fuel divestiture support the Comptroller’s plan, and will not be reintroducing that bill. RPEA had opposed that bill because it infringed on the Comptroller’s Sole Trustee fiduciary responsibility.
RPEA continues to point out that the Pension Fund exists solely to provide benefits to current and future retirees and their beneficiaries. Period. We declare the Comptroller’s announcement to be a victory for current and future retirees.
To view the Comptroller’s full announcement, click here.