21 million savers tempted by green pension options amid increasing awareness

Awareness of the link between pensions and climate change has grown by around 85 per cent in the past year, analysis from Make My Money Matter (MMMM) has revealed, with an increasing number of savers tempted by green pension options as a result.

Research from the group revealed that 51 per cent of savers, representing around 21 million individuals, would choose a green pension if offered one by their provider, up from 44 per cent in 2021, a "substantial" increase of around three million savers.

In addition to this, a further 16 per cent of savers, equal to around 6.5 million people, plan to switch to a sustainable pension over the next 12 months.

Demand was highest amongst younger savers, with over a third (36 per cent) of pension holders under the age of 34 planning to switch to a sustainable pension in the next 12 months, while 67 per cent said they would choose a green pension fund if offered one by their provider.

MMMM also highlighted the results as demonstration that savers not only want their money to stop causing harm to the planet, but to proactively contribute to making a more sustainable future, with over a third (36 per cent) of savers stating that they want their money invested into climate solutions, and 32 per cent keen to invest in green infrastructure.

In light of the findings, MMMM has reiterated its call for the pension industry to make their default schemes green, requiring credible net-zero transition plans for their entire portfolio and increasing investments in climate solutions.

Whilst the campaign group acknowledged that an increasing number of pension schemes are committing to net-zero goals, it emphasised that there is still more to be done, with recent analysis suggesting there is still around £1.7trn in UK schemes that have yet to align with the Paris Climate Agreement.

MMMM co-founder, Richard Curtis, commented: “This research shows that the public has woken up to the power of their pensions. More and more savers can see the links between their money and catastrophic climate change, and as a result are determined to make their money matter.

“Now is the time for the pensions industry to respond to this growing demand for cleaner, greener pensions. In doing so they will be listening to the voices of their members, while ensuring our pensions are building a world fit for our retirement.

“Last year, we saw £1trn of our pensions committed to robust net zero targets. But this is nowhere near enough. We need to see the remaining £1.7trn working to tackle climate crisis, not fuel the fire. The public have spoken; now is the moment for the pensions industry to respond.”

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