Pension plans are not the only ones leading the charge in divesting Russian assets. Government officials at the state and federal level are working on legislation related to selling off Russian investments.
The U.S. Senate is looking to ban institutional investors from investing in Russian securities. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on March 2 introduced the Instituting Measures to Protect American Investors and Retirees from Russia Act, or IMPAIR Russia Act. Institutional investors would be barred from purchasing a security issued by a Russian entity on or after the date of the bill’s enactment.
Investment companies and insurance companies under the Investment Company Act of 1940 as well as fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 would be subject to the bill, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla.
The IMPAIR Russia Act would allow the president to impose penalties on offending institutional investors under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
The New Jersey Legislature already passed legislation that prohibits certain government dealings with businesses linked to Russia and Belarus and calls on the $93.8 billion New Jersey Pension Fund, Trenton, to divest certain investments in those countries. Gov. Phil Murphy signed it into law March 9.
“We are sending a strong message today to Vladimir Putin and his cronies in Belarus that their actions will not be tolerated,” Mr. Murphy said in a news release.
New Jersey Pension Fund had $50 million in Russia-related investments as of Feb. 28.
The law prohibits the state from investing pension or annuity funds in an entity appearing on a “prohibited activities” list developed by the Department of the Treasury. The law says the state and its subdivisions are prevented from “banking with, holding equity investments in or maintaining insurance coverage issued by a financial institution” for any entity on the list.
On March 3, California state Sen. Mike McGuire and a bipartisan coalition of legislators introduced a bill to divest state public funds, such as the $473.6 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Sacramento, from Russia and Russia-state entities.
“As the fifth largest economy in the world, we must use this power for good. We can help stop this autocratic thug, Putin, by advancing this critical legislation and enacting our own financial divestments,” Mr. McGuire said in a Feb. 28 news release.
In North Carolina, Treasurer Dale R. Folwell wants Congress to amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 to enable the $118.2 billion North Carolina Retirement Systems to confiscate the Russian assets the systems hold through a private lawsuit, as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Mr. Folwell, who is sole trustee of the Raleigh-based retirement systems, called for the amendment to the 1976 …….