Blog: Political upheaval in U.K. among big non-ERISA stories in Q4 – Pensions & Investments

During the fourth quarter of 2022, 13 stories were written about non-ERISA lawsuits that involve legal prosecution or settlements, with an additional 88 stories on legislation and regulation. Forty-three representatives and senators were mentioned.

In October, Kwasi Kwarteng, the U.K.’s chancellor of the exchequer, was fired by then-U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss after her government’s mini-budget led to the U.K. bond market meltdown. Mr. Kwarteng was replaced by the second finance minister, Jeremy Hunt; Ms. Truss resigned; and Rishi Sunak was chosen as the new U.K. prime minister.

December

  • U.S. House and Senate passed a $1.7 trillion year-end spending bill which includes the most comprehensive retirement security package known as SECURE 2.0.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a proposal to broaden the entities subject to Rule 605 under Regulation NMS of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
  • Sarah ten Siethoff was named the deputy director of the SEC’s division of investment management.
  • Financial Regulators Transparency Act of 2022 was introduced to strengthen congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve.
  • Retirement Savings for Americans Act was introduced to allow workers without employer-sponsored retirement plans to be eligible for a federal account.

November

  • The Illinois General Assembly passed the Money Laundering in Real Estate Task Force Act that requests state pension funds to divest any holdings in Russia or Belarus.
  • Goldman Sachs Asset Management agreed to pay $4 million for its failure to implement proper environmental, social and governance policies for its U.S. Equity ESG Strategy, Goldman Sachs International Equity ESG Fund, and Goldman Sachs ESG Emerging Markets Equity Fund.
  • S&P Global Ratings agreed to pay a $2.5 million charge for violating conflict-of-interest rules and being influenced by sales and marketing when assigning credit ratings.
  • Knox County Pension & Retirement Board and other mutual fund investors settled a $145 million lawsuit with money manager Allianz Global Investors for the massive losses caused by its Structured Alpha strategies.
  • The SEC released its strategic plan for fiscal years 2022 to 2026 with goals of fraud protection, building regulatory framework, and promoting workplace diversity.
  • The Department of Labor finalized the Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights rule to explicitly permit climate change and ESG factors to be considered when selecting investments and exercising shareholder rights.

October

  • Mel Stride was appointed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as the U.K.’s new secretary of state for work and pensions.
  • The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority proposed anti-greenwashing rules and new restrictions on how ESG-related terms can be used.
  • Jeremy Hunt was appointed as the new chancellor of the exchequer to replace Kwasi Kwarteng.
  • Liz Truss resigned, and Mr. Sunak was appointed as the U.K.’s prime minister.

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