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Social Justice Group To Offer Social(k) Fund Menu

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The Co-op America Business Network has agreed to encourage its 3,500 members to adopt a 401(k) plan investment option platform that includes more than 100 socially conscious funds.

Co-op America, Washington, a group that says it promotes social justice and environmental sustainability, has formed a marketing alliance with Social(k), Springfield, Mass., the group that has designed the socially conscious 401(k) investment platform.

Managers of socially conscious funds may exclude stocks of companies that promote gambling, sell tobacco, appear to treat employees unusually badly, or appear to engage in other activities that violate the funds’ screening requirements.

Money managers also have developed the Vice Fund, a fund that is conscious of social issues and intentionally invests in companies that engage in what some believe to be objectionable businesses.

Many traditional 401(k) plans offer participants a choice of 1 or 2 socially conscious funds.

The Social(k) program is different because it offers a choice of more than 100 socially conscious funds, and it also helps employers and participants diversify by offering another 600 funds with portfolios that are not subjected to a social screening process, according to Co-op America.

ExpertPlan Inc., East Windsor, N.J., administers the Social(k) program.

In September, Social(k) will add a portfolio allocation option from First Affirmative Financial Network L.L.C., Colorado Springs, Colo., according to Co-op America.