Securities Exchange Act of 1934 — Rule 14a-8(i)(7)
College Retirement Equities Fund ("Fund") Shareholder Proposal of Aaron Levitt
May 6, 2011
William J. Mostyn, III
Senior Vice President and
One Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
Re: College Retirement Equities Fund (“Fund”)
Shareholder Proposal of Aaron Levitt
Dear Mr. Mostyn:
In a letter dated March 22, 2011, you notified the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) that the Fund intends to exclude from its proxy materials for its 2011 annual meeting a shareholder proposal submitted by letter dated February 11, 2011, from Aaron Levitt.1 The proposal provides:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the participants request CREF to engage with corporations in its portfolio, such as Caterpillar, Veolia, and Elbit, that operate on the West Bank and East Jerusalem with the goal of ending all practices by which they profit from the Israeli occupation. If, by the annual meeting of 2012, there is no commitment to cooperate, CREF should consider divesting as soon as market conditions permit.
There appears to be some basis for your view that the proposal may be omitted from the Fund’s proxy materials pursuant to Rule 14a-8(i)(7) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as relating to CREF’s ordinary business operations.
Accordingly, the Division will not recommend enforcement action to the Commission if CREF excludes the proposal from its proxy materials in reliance on Rule 14a-8(i)(7). In reaching this position, we have not found it necessary to address the alternative bases for omission set forth in your letter.
Because our position is based upon the facts recited in your letter, different facts or conditions or additional facts or conditions may require a different conclusion. Further, this response only expresses our position on enforcement action under Rule 14a-8 and does not express any legal conclusion on the issues presented.
Attached is a description of the informal procedures the Division follows in responding to shareholder proposals. If you have any questions or comments concerning this matter, please call me at (202) 551-6795.
Michael L. Kosoff
cc: Aaron Levitt
1 We also received a letter submitted on behalf of the proponent dated April 21, 2011, and a letter from the Fund dated April 27, 2011.