Pensions  

Nearly half of savers would switch to greener pensions

Nearly half of savers would switch to greener pensions

If offered by their provider, 44 per cent of savers would switch to a green pension to help fight climate change, research has revealed.

The survey, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Make My Money Matter, found 61 per cent of 1,022 adults surveyed wanted their pension to play an active role in fighting climate change.  

Savers appear to be kept in the dark around where their pensions are actually invested as the majority (80 per cent) have never considered whether their monthly contributions could be accelerating global warming. 

In addition, the research found almost two thirds (63 per cent) of savers admitted to having no idea where their pension was currently invested. 

Younger savers are the least in the know despite being the most concerned about climate change. 

Three quarters (74 per cent) of those aged 18-24 do not know where their contributions are invested and more than one third (37 per cent) are unaware that their pension counts as an investment at all. 

Employers and pension providers appear to be blamed for this with 43 per cent saying their provider did not provide enough information while 47 per cent criticised their employer.

This lack of clarity led savers to assume the worst, with only 12 per cent of pension believing their pension was currently having a positive impact on people and the planet. 

Therefore, half of all pension holders would switch their pension if they knew it was funding oil and gas companies, arms production, deforestation or had links to child labour.

Richard Curtis, co-founder of Make My Money Matter said savers are held back by a lack of information, poor communication and limited choice when it comes to tackling climate change with their pensions.

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

“To do this, 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. 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. 

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

amy.austin@ft.com

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