Climate change and human rights top pension customer concerns

Standard Life is adding four new funds to its responsible range for pension savers

Two-thirds (66%) of Standard Life’s pension customers think climate change is the most important area of responsible investment.

This was a finding from the firm’s latest responsible investing customer survey, which gathered responses from 1,200 customers. The second biggest area of concern, at 55%, was human rights.

The survey also discovered 70% of customers believe responsibly invested funds will outperform funds outside the sector in the long term.

“Attitudes to investing are changing, driven by a growing awareness of ESG factors and how they might affect their investment outcomes,” said Gareth Trainor, head of investment solutions at Standard Life.

The survey also found most customers (41%) would be willing to take on slightly greater risk for a fund that prioritised what was important to them.

Standard Life is therefore expanding its responsible investment range to include four new funds to pension savers, focusing on climate change, gender diversity and sustainability:

·       SL Nordea Global Climate and Environment Fund

·       SL Nordea  Global Gender Diversity Fund

·       SL ASI Sustainable Index UK Equity Fund

·       SL ASI Sustainable Index World Equity Fund

These new funds bring the total number of responsible investment funds now available to Standard Life pension savers, including those saving through their workplace pension, to 16. They will also be available to employers looking for bespoke blends for their workplace schemes.

“Many people in the UK are passionate about fighting climate change and the need for greater gender diversity within organisations, so we’re introducing funds that focus on these issues, along with two new sustainable investment funds that will complement our existing range of Responsible Investment self-select funds,” Trainor said.  

He added the firm is working with a number of investment partners to expand the range, and by the end of this year will also be offering an ESG default pension solution that will be a multi asset portfolio for employers “aimed at meeting the needs of the majority of their workplace scheme members”.

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Natasha Turner

Natasha is global deputy editor at ESG Clarity, part of the Bonhill Group, and has been a financial journalist for six years. She has been shortlisted for Story of the Year and Investment Journalist of...