Deloitte to move £1bn of default pension investments to sustainable fund

Deloitte has announced plans to introduce a new sustainably-focused default pension fund for all of its 35,000 pension scheme members in the Standard Life Master Trust, as part of its wider commitments on climate change and sustainability.

It will become the largest investor in the Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) Sustainable World Index Fund, with £1bn of pension investments expected to move into the fund.

The move is expected to place a greater focus on sustainability, as the fund assesses investments across environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, as well as providing support to markets and organisations that contribute to a more sustainable future.

Commenting on the plans, Deloitte UK managing partner, Stephen Griggs, said: “This is the first step on the journey to improving the sustainability of our pensions and we are committed to continuing to review the funds being developed in the market so that we can provide the best options to our members.

“With the effects of climate change more urgent than ever, it’s important that we all - businesses and individuals alike - take action where we can. This change is a result of direct feedback from our people telling us that being a more sustainable firm matters to them.

“It is important that our firm sets and meets higher standards for itself when it comes to sustainability. This includes making sure our decision-making aligns to our sustainability commitments, including where we decide to make investments.

“I am very proud of this move and I’m grateful to the teams who were behind making this exciting development happen. For me, this is a clear demonstration of the actions businesses can take to focus their investments to support a sustainable future for the generations to come.”

Standard Life workplace managing director, Gail Izat, added: “We are delighted to have helped Deloitte transition their default fund to the ASI Sustainable World Index Fund.

“At Standard Life, we know that many of our workplace clients share our ambition of creating a greener planet for future generations, and we strive to work collaboratively to help them achieve those ambitions.

“As the largest scheme to date to switch to a sustainable default fund, we look forward to continuing to support Deloitte’s 35,000 members.”

ASI UK, EMEA & Americas, Chris Demetriou, also highlighted the investment as testimony of the “strong demand” from investors for sustainable outcomes while retaining the traditional benefits of index funds.

“Our research illustrated that pension schemes increasingly require materially improved sustainable outcomes beyond what an equity tracker can deliver, hence we created the ASI Sustainable Index World Equity Fund which we believe is an important step towards expanding ESG investment opportunities for pension schemes,” he concluded.

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