A bill that would give Thrift Savings Plan participants the ability to divest from the fossil-fuel industry has been introduced in the House.
The Retirement Investments for a Sustainable Economy Act of 2020, or RISE Act, would direct the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, Washington, which administers the $644 billion TSP, to offer a Climate Choice Stock Index Fund that is free from investment in fossil-fuel companies.
The bill was introduced Nov. 20 by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and is a companion to a bill Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., introduced last year.
If enacted, the RISE Act would give the TSP participants — 6.1 million federal employees and members of the uniformed services — the flexibility to choose a more sustainable, socially responsible investment portfolio, Ms. Tlaib said in a news release. "Federal employees who have honorably dedicated themselves to public service deserve to have the option of divesting from corporate polluters that put their profits ahead of our planet's future and our public health, so that they can rest easier that their retirement investments are socially responsible," Ms. Tlaib said.
In the same news release, Mr. Merkley said Americans are "seeing the growing climate crisis driving catastrophic wildfires, deadly storms and hurricanes, and devastating droughts, and lots of people don't want to wait around for these risks to grow. If people want to get their money out of the industry driving climate chaos, they should be able to. It's time for Congress to give millions of federal employees the power to ensure their retirement funds are invested in a less risky and more sustainable, socially responsible portfolio."
With a divided Congress and few legislative days remaining, the bill is unlikely to move any further this year.