Ethical Investing  

Royal London launches sustainable pension

Royal London launches sustainable pension

Customers with pensions with Royal London can now access sustainable funds through their workplace and individual retirement saving plans.

The move includes five funds, with £1.7bn of assets under management, which will be managed by Royal London Asset Management’s sustainable team.

Lorna Blyth, head of investment solutions at Royal London, said the funds will "help influence positive change”.

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“The sustainable team take an active role in ensuring we invest in companies that contribute positively to our society and environment. To help influence positive change they vote at annual meetings, engage with management and advocate strong corporate governance,” she said.

"We’re proud we’re making a bigger impact in terms of helping our customers achieve their investment goals, whilst making the world a better place,” she added.

The funds are designed to fit different risk profiles, from a perceived lower risk 100 per cent fixed income to a much higher risk 100 per cent equities. Customers can invest their pension in these funds individually or as part of a portfolio.

However, John Ditchfield, financial adviser from ethical investment experts Castlefield, said he couldn't see how the main holdings in Royal London's sustainable funds are sustainable.

"Amazon is the top holding, and I can't see what is so sustainable about it," he said. Other big holdings include Rentokil and Microsoft.

He said he uses Wheb's sustainability funds and those run by Liontrust, which he believes has a genuine sustainable focus.

"I think people would be surprised by the holdings in these Royal London funds," he said. "I'm sure these companies are engaging with Royal London on sustainability, because they must have some criteria for picking them, but it is hard for me to see."