Trade sanctions against Iran are already in place for U.S. companies with more punitive measures being proposed by Congress. Now legislators on both the federal and state level are pushing legislation that would require public employee retirement plans to divest themselves of investments in foreign companies doing business with Iran. Missouri already has had such legislation in place since last June which required public employee retirement plans to sell shares of companies with commercial interests in Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan. All four countries are accused by the State Department of sponsoring terrorism. Similar measures are now being considered by Georgia, California and Florida.
And over in the private sector, Nationwide, one of the largest 401(k) providers, intends to add a "terror-free" mutual fund option to its approximately 25,000 401(k) plans. The fund is the Roosevelt Anti-Terror Multi-Cap Fund The Fund’s objective is to seek long term capital appreciation, and it invests primarily in common stock of U.S. companies of all capitalization ranges. It will not invest in companies that have ongoing business relationships with countries that sponsor terrorism. which will screen out companies with ties to Iran and others on the U.S. terrorism list. Will the other major 401(k) providers follow suit?