Treasurer Ball, Attorney General Cameron Request Information on Role of ESG-Investment Practices in Kentucky’s Public Retirement Systems

FRANKFORT, Ky. (October 31, 2022) – Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball and Attorney General Daniel Cameron today sent a letter requesting information from the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and the Kentucky Public Pension Authority (KPPA) regarding the role environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment practices play in the management of Kentucky’s public retirement systems.  

“Kentuckians worked hard for decades to earn their pensions and rely on them for livelihood in retirement. It is important their investments are maximized, not politicized,” Ball said. “As the watchdog of taxpayer dollars, I remain committed to ensuring funds are invested and spent consistent with the law.” 

In their letter, the Constitutional Officers noted that ESG-investment practices “violate statutory and contractual fiduciary duties,” and asked the agencies to advise their offices regarding efforts to ensure “ESG considerations are not being implemented in your systems’ investment decisions.”

This letter is the latest effort by Treasurer Ball and Attorney General Cameron to ensure that the retirement funds of teachers, police officers, and county and state employees are protected from ESG-investment practices, which may unlawfully place radical ESG agendas ahead of the financial interests of Kentuckians.  

“Rising inflation has made protecting the retirement security of Kentucky’s public employees even more essential,” said Attorney General Cameron. “Prioritizing ESG-related investments above the financial interests of investors is inconsistent with Kentucky law, and we’ve sent this letter to ensure these practices are not at work in the Commonwealth.”

Earlier this year, Treasurer Ball asked the Office of the Attorney General whether ESG investment practices, which introduce mixed motivations to investment decisions, were consistent with Kentucky law regarding the fiduciary duties of investment managers to Kentucky’s public pensions. On May 26, Attorney General Cameron issued an opinion stating that investment managers “must be single-minded in their motivation and actions and their decisions must be '[s]olely in the interest of the members and beneficiaries [and for] the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to members and beneficiaries.'” To view a copy of the opinion, click here.

To view a copy of the letter, see here.