Two-thirds of UK savers want pensions to tackle climate change

13th May 2021

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Around two-thirds of UK pension holders want their retirement savings to tackle to climate change, but a similar proportion have no idea where their money is invested, a YouGov poll has found.

After surveying over 1,000 pension holders, the researchers found that a whopping 80% had never even considered that their pension could be contributing to global warming.

However, half said that they would switch their pension if they knew it was funding oil and gas companies, arms production, deforestation or had links to child labour.

The Make My Money Matter campaign, which commissioned the survey, said that the findings suggest that as many as 18 million savers would switch to a green pension if given the chance.

Richard Curtis, film director and co-founder of the campaign, explained how a lack of information, poor communication and limited choice, are preventing savers from using their pensions to make a positive difference in the world.

“We must urgently change this and unlock the hidden superpower hiding within our pensions,” he continued. “Having a sustainable pension can make our money matter and be one of the most powerful tools we have to change the world.

“Now is the moment for the pensions industry to respond, and make sure that the £3trn invested in our pensions actually helps to build a world we want to retire in.”

Poor transparency from employers and pension providers appear to be driving scepticism and pessimism among scheme members.

Almost half the survey respondents do not think their employer adequately communicates where their pension scheme is invested, and a further 43% feel that their provider does not offer enough information.

Only 12% said that they think their pension is currently having a positive impact on people and the planet, and 60% don't know if their contributions are invested in line with their values – potentially undoing much of their good work to become more sustainable in their day-to-day lives.

“We’re calling for all pension providers to commit to net-zero targets by COP26, ensuring that the UK becomes a true global leader in green pensions,” Curtis said.

“We know that continued investments in unsustainable businesses are bad for the planet and go against the wishes of the majority of UK savers. They are also increasingly bad for returns and sustainable pensions are now delivering excellent returns.”

Image credit: iStock

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