Climate Activism Interferes with Responsible Public Pension Fund Management

Last month, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), which manages the pension funds on which California’s educators rely, voted to divest the stocks of U.S. thermal coal companies. Many have praised the nation’s second largest public pension system for taking this bold action, including California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, who specifically blamed the coal companies for causing global climate change. But is a public pension fund that many California residents now and in the future depend on for retirement income really the right stage for a political climate battle?         Managers of pension funds, including CalSTRS, owe fiduciary duties to their clients, which means they must make decisions solely for the benefit of those clients. Other interests, including a pension manager’s own political views, should not interfere with pension-related decision making without the...(Read Full Post)