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Treasurer Fitzpatrick Joins Coalition of State Financial Officers and Attorneys General to Continue Pushing Back against Biden Administration’s Attacks on America’s Financial System

Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Treasurer's name


Jefferson City, MO – Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick has joined a coalition of 36 state financial officers and attorneys general in calling on the U.S. Department of Labor to reject a proposed rule change governing fiduciary duty for investment decisions relating to employee retirement income accounts. Contrary to the primary duty of protecting employee interests in their retirement investments, the Proposed Rule would allow employers and investment managers to invest retirement income in a way that benefits social causes and corporate goals even if it adversely effects the return for the employee.

 

                “Fiduciaries remain bound by statute to manage investments with an “eye single” to maximizing the funds available to pay retirement benefits. Yet, the Proposed Rule promotes ERISA fiduciaries to subordinate those interests in favor of objectives. The Proposed Rule does not protect employee retirement income but increases the risk of loss and costs by encouraging investments that are often misleading, administratively costly, and historically untested. While it is never appropriate to encourage plan sponsors to take such risks, it is particularly indefensible at a time when Americans struggle with inflation and financial uncertainties. The clear purpose behind the Proposed Rule is to further a political agenda,” the state financial officers wrote in their public comment on the Proposed Rule.

 

“What we have seen from the Biden Administration over the past 11 months is a disregard for the norms of our American financial system and a continued drive to socialize our economy. This Proposed Rule change would undermine the fiduciary duty that has been sacrosanct in our country for decades to allow employers and investment managers to invest retirement income not on what is best for employee returns, but in a way that promotes a social activist agenda while also protecting them from legal action,” Treasurer Fitzpatrick said. “In a free market, winners and losers are chosen by the people and their individual purchasing power, not by the executives in the corner suite and their preferred outcomes. I will continue to push back in any way I can as Treasurer against this increasingly troublesome overreach.”

 

Treasurer Fitzpatrick recently called on President Biden to recall his nomination for Comptroller of the Currency, Saule Omarova. He also joined Missouri financial institutions and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce to call on Congress and the Biden Administration to rescind a proposal allowing the IRS to track bank accounts with inflows and outflows over $600. Earlier this year, he joined the West Virginia State Treasurer and other state financial officers opposing apparent attempts by the Biden Administration efforts to pressure banks to divest from coal, oil, and natural gas companies. He also fought back against JP Morgan Chase when actions indicated the largest bank in America was discriminating against customers based on political ideology.

 

Treasurer Fitzpatrick serves on the Board of Trustees for the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System. He is the National Vice Chair of the State Financial Officer’s Foundation.

 

The public comment on the Proposed Rule was led by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks, and Utah Auditor John Dougall. In addition, Treasurer Fitzpatrick was joined by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas State Treasurer Dennis Milligan, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Idaho State Treasurer Julie Ellsworth, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball, Kentucky State Auditor Mike Harmon, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Mississippi State Treasurer David McRae, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, Nebraska Attorney General Douglas Peterson, Nebraska State Treasurer John Murante, North Dakota State Treasurer Thomas Beadle, Ohio Attorney General David Yost, Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor, Oklahoma State Treasurer Randy McDaniel, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey.

 

The Proposed Rule can be found here. A copy of the public comment filed by the state financial officers can be found here.

 

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