ESG in Defined Contribution Views Featured in Benefits Magazine

August 29, 2017

An article by Marquette investment consultant Linsey Schoemehl Payne and analyst Courtney Hugger was featured in the September 2017 edition of Benefits Magazine. The article, Getting Started With ESG: Six Steps for Defined Contribution Plans, explores the growing interest among defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors in incorporating consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into their plans. Linsey and Courtney suggest six steps for implementing ESG strategies, summarizing their recent white paper Bracing for Impact: How to Prepare for the Next Generation of Defined Contribution Plans. Their ESG in DC views were also presented in the webinar ESG Stewardship for Defined Contribution Plan Fiduciaries.

In recent years, defined contribution plan sponsors have adopted features such as automatic enrollment to increase participation and options including target-date funds to better prepare participants for retirement. Consideration of ESG issues — that’s environmental, social and governance issues — within the participant-directed DC plan structure also has gained momentum as a way for plan sponsors to engage with their participants and mitigate risks for the investor. Plan sponsors are now tasked with the challenge of determining whether and how best to incorporate ESG considerations into the stewardship of DC plans.

Linsey Schoemehl Payne is a vice president for Marquette Associates. She is a member of the firm’s impact investing committee and discretionary committee. She was formerly the general counsel and chief compliance officer for the Illinois State Board of Investment. She has a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Missouri–Columbia, a J.D. degree from the DePaul University College of Law and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Courtney Hugger is a client analyst for Marquette Associates. She is vice chair of the firm’s impact investing and endowment and foundation services committee and serves on the firm’s defined contribution services committee. She has a B.S. degree in public and nonprofit management from Indiana University, Bloomington and earned an M.S. degree in policy studies from the DePaul University School of Public Service.

Benefits Magazine, the monthly publication of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, covers benefit issues affecting multiemployer, single employer and public employee plan representatives.

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