By Silla Brush - 09/29/10 06:31 PM EDT
The SEC said the rule change is designed to benefit investors who have long-term stakes in public companies. SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro in August said the rule is "a matter of fairness and accountability."
The SEC said the recently enacted Dodd-Frank financial overhaul legislation provided the authority for the "proxy access" rule.
Labor unions and activists shareholders for years have sought greater power in corporate elections.