Standard Life moves 1.5m savers into sustainable default funds

Standard Life moves 1.5m savers into sustainable default funds

Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, is moving £15bn of assets and 1.5m pension clients to a default strategy which will provide a mainly passive, lower-cost sustainable solution.

The move will mean the sustainable multi-asset strategies will be used for Active Plus and Passive Plus members, as well as those in its Master Trust arrangement, with this roll-out happening throughout 2022.

Scheme members will not have to do anything as the changes will happen automatically, Standard Life said.

With the sustainable multi-asset range, Standard Life is aiming to enhance returns over the long term by taking appropriate levels of risks earlier.

The new strategies will provide increased exposure to equities and will be underpinned by ESG components of up to 80 per cent plus within the asset class, depending on the strategy applied.

Gareth Trainor, head of investment solutions at Standard Life, said: “The enhancements we are making will look to achieve growth earlier in the investment process, with the balance of a suitable glidepath for pension scheme members to help them aim for the best possible outcome when they come to retire.  

“Our investment thinking and philosophy is continually evolving to reflect prevailing market and societal factors. We are focused on taking a financial approach to sustainable investing, which means taking the right amount of investment risk at the right times for all our pension scheme members.

“We are delighted that we’re set to embed our enhanced growth, sustainable focused solutions for our pension scheme members in 2022, beginning in February for Master Trust members.”

Standard Life’s first step to introducing the new solution was the launch of the Sustainable Multi Asset Universal Strategic Lifestyle Profile for new clients at the end of 2020. 

The provider said at that time its intention was to extend the strategies to existing clients as part of an “ongoing commitment to embed responsible investment solutions into default portfolios”.

Phoenix bought the Standard Life brand name in May 2021 after it bought Standard Life Aberdeen’s insurance arm in 2018 for £3.28bn.

Back in October 2021, Phoenix said the “look and feel” of the Standard Life brand would change through a series of subtle changes in brand style.

It said the initial brand refresh will focus on modernising the “visual identity and tone of voice”.

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