Majority of savers want pension investments to be ESG-driven

The majority of UK savers want their pension investments to consider the impact they have on vulnerable people and the environment.

A survey of over 6,000 people conducted by the Department for International Development (DFID) has found that 68 per cent of UK savers want their investments to be driven by ESG considerations.

The DFID says that interest in ESG investments is even higher among people with investments worth over £25,000, millennials, and women.

The government department’s study has also discovered the 57 per cent of respondents were interested in understanding more about the impact their pension savings have on people and the planet.

Fifty-six per cent said they would be likely to choose a fully or partially responsible and impactful pension fund, while only 14 per cent would choose a fund that does not consider positive impact, if they were given the choice.

Additionally, 6.6 per cent said they would opt for a fully or partially sustainable pension and 47 per cent of people would want their pension switched if they found out that it was invested in a way that went against their values.

This figure rises to 52 per cent for those with assets over £25,000.

Of those who currently hold investments of any kind, 30 per cent said that they consider the impact on people and the planet as one of their top five most important factors when choosing whether to allocate money into an investment.

However, the survey also suggests that many savers are not investing with ESG factors at their forefront of their minds because of a lack of available and accessible ESG investment products; misconceptions around sustainable investing leading to lower financial rewards; and a lack of clear information about sustainably investing.

Secretary of State for international development, Alok Sharma, said that the message from the survey was clear.

“People in the UK care about the impact of their investments on people and planet, alongside financial performance,” he noted.

“This is a call to action for the financial services industry to meet this demand. The sustainable investing market is growing rapidly, but the industry needs to rise to the challenge to meet demand from people wanting to invest in line with their values.”

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