US - The House Financial Services Committee has passed the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007 enabling state and local governments to divest the assets of their pension funds.
The act stated the US government has to publish a list every six months of companies with an investment of more than US$20m in Iran’s energy sector.
House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Lantos said: “Time and again in recent history, divestment has been used to persuade a balky political regime that its policies are out of synch with world opinion. This new legislation puts the power of the purse to use so that Tehran might be deterred from its headlong pursuit of nuclear weapons.”
The act has been designed to be a safe harbour for fund managers, managers of mutual funds and corporate pension funds who divest from companies on the list.
Brad Sherman, chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, said: “My amendment will make it clear that state and local divestment efforts targeting Iran are fully authorized, whether they focus on corporations investing in Iran’s oil sector or target Iran more broadly. This will insulate Missouri and others from possible law suits, and encourage California, Ohio and many other states to move forward.”
In a separate development, Tucson city council said it will pull out of investments of Iranian energy companies because of concerns over terrorism and nuclear weapons.
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.
The government is in talks with the UK and Irish pensions regulators over how to protect members of cross-border schemes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The equalisation of guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs) is at least two years away from being completed, and could take longer than four years for some schemes, a poll has found.
The Pensions Regulator will consider if schemes should be required to have professional trustees and assess the case for greater regulation of administrators and system providers, PP can reveal.