WINDSOR, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), today announced that it has received Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) certification for pension plans for the second consecutive year from DALBAR, Inc. , a leading pension industry expert in assessing, auditing and rating business practices. As the only accountant in the industry to receive DALBAR’s ESG Pension Plan Certification, Voya is recognized, along with a five-star rating, for 401(k) plans offered to its own employees.
“At Voya, we believe it is important for us to take a broad view of ESG factors in our benefits offerings. This includes applying ESG principles to decisions and practices related to the management and administration of our 401(k) plans,” said Kevin Silva, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, Voya Financial. “DALBAR’s ESG pension plan certification offers employers of all sizes the opportunity to assess and improve their pension plans while demonstrating a broader commitment to conducting business responsibly and ethically. We are proud to have once again met DALBAR’s standards of excellence and believe this further demonstrates our commitment to providing our employees with benefits that meet a wide range of health and wealth needs while by having a positive impact on the world around us.
Recognizing the growing role of ESG, DALBAR first introduced its ESG pension plan certification in late 2020. Certification is now an annual process to assess a plan’s success in actively applying ESG principles. Specifically, this includes a review of all ESG factors, including:
- Environment factors such as paperless, automatic enrollment and online capabilities;
- Social factors, including early withdrawal options, matching contributions, call center capabilities and pre- and post-retirement support; and
- Governance factors such as plan fees, regulatory compliance and investment policies.
While the ability to attract and retain talent remains a top priority for companies today, growing interest in ESG factors that align with employee values and financial well-being goals, particularly when it comes to their retirement plan, makes it a focus that has broad appeal and benefits. According to research by Voya, more than half (63%) of Americans who work full-time or part-time are “somewhat” or “very interested” in accessing retirement plan investment options focused on a positive impact on ESG issues as part of their benefits.1 And this number increases even more for millennials (72%),2 the greatest generation of the American workforce.3
“While many employees are interested in ESG investment options, they also want to know if their retirement plans are living up to their word. For employer-sponsored pension plans, this growing interest in ESG presents unique opportunities,” added Heather Lavallee, CEO of Wealth Solutions at Voya. “Some of our own data at Voya found that 60% of plan members are likely to contribute more to an ESG-certified pension plan.4 For employers, being able to highlight the benefits of ESG pension plan certification – including its commitment to serving their local and global community – can help address many factors that directly and indirectly influence employee participation. employees to the plan – and, ultimately, the results of employee retirement.
“As electric vehicles replace traditional automobiles today, ESG is quickly becoming a business principle that enhances and protects companies that adopt it,” said Louis Harvey, President and CEO of DALBAR, Inc. “DALBAR’s ESG certification of pension schemes demonstrates when these ESG standards are maintained at the highest level.
Employers interested in pursuing certification can learn more about the DALBAR ESG Pension Scheme Certification Website and should contact the record keeper of their defined contribution plan to find out how they can work with DALBAR to begin the certification process.
As an industry leader focused on providing health, wealth and investment solutions to and through the workplace, Voya Financial is committed to fulfilling its mission to enable a secure financial future for all Americans – one person, one family, one institution at a time.
1. & 2. Based on results of an Ipsos survey conducted on June 3-4, 2021 on the Ipsos eNation online omnibus platform among 1,005 adults aged 18+ in the United States
3. PEW Research Center, “Millennials are the Largest Generation in the American Workforce,” (April 2018).
4. Voya “ESG Principles & Investing” study conducted through Voya’s online consumer community with n=101 consumers broken down by age and gender (June 2020).
DALBAR, Inc. is a leading financial services market research firm that conducts a variety of practice and communications ratings and assessments, committed to raising the standards of excellence in the financial services and financial services industries. Health care. DALBAR is a separate entity and not an affiliate of Voya Financial®. The DALBAR ESG retirement plan certification criteria fall into three categories: environmental (paper-free, auto-enrollment, online capabilities), social (early withdrawal options, matching contributions, call center capabilities, front-end support /after retirement) and governance (reasonable plan fees, compliance with applicable regulations, sound investment policy, investment review, third party requirements). There is an annual fee for ESG plan certification, which is uniform for all program participants and based on the number of plan participants ( 10,000 attendees = $5,000). DALBAR ESG certification does not reflect actual customer experiences or results and is not indicative of future performance. Voya helped DALBAR develop the ESG plan certification. DALBAR asked Voya to participate in the data collection process and provide DALBAR feedback on the questionnaire process from the customer’s perspective. Voya participated in a beta test for certification. The certification process was managed by DALBAR and Voya had no ability to influence the outcome. Certification is based on pass/fail factors and will be applied consistently to all plans seeking certification
About Voya Financial®
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA) is a leading health, wealth and investment company that provides products, solutions and technology that help Americans be well-planned, well-invested and well protected. Servicing the needs of 14.3 million retail, professional and institutional customers, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had revenue of $4.2 billion in 2021 and total assets under management and administration of $707 billion. as of March 31, 2022. to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is driven and also committed to conducting its business in a socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible manner. Voya has been recognized as: one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index; and a “Best Workplace for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index. For more information, visit voya.com. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.
DALBAR, Inc., is the financial community’s leading independent expert in evaluating, auditing and rating business practices, client performance, product quality and service. Launched in 1976, DALBAR is recognized for its consistent and unbiased assessments of insurance companies, investment firms, registered investment advisers, brokers, pension plan providers and financial professionals. The DALBAR awards are recognized as marks of excellence in the financial community.