Over 80% savers want greater investment transparency

Over 80 per cent of savers want greater transparency about which companies their pensions are invested in, new research by PensionsBee has revealed.

Furthermore, over half of respondents would prefer to balance making money with creating a positive social outcome, with a further 16 per cent of savers calling for the removal of any companies that focus on profit at the expense of social outcomes.

Considering specific areas of investment, 61 per cent of savers would like to see an active screening approach towards tobacco companies, with a further 35 per cent favouring its outright removal.

Whilst this sentiment was consistent across all age groups, it was particularly pronounced among women, 74 per cent compared to 57 per cent of men.

This trend continued across investing in weapons, with 82 per cent of women favouring this be removed outright, compared to 53 per cent of men.

The research also indicated that younger savers were more likely to take decisive action, with 44 per cent of those under 30 favouring the removal of any companies that are accused of breaking international laws, compared to just 35 per cent for those over the age of 50.

Recent research from the deVere group supported this, with 77 per cent of millennials citing environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing as a top priority when considering potential investment opportunities.

The firm stipulated that the research revealed a “growing gap” between the attitudes of modern savers and mainstream default pension products, estimating that 90 per cent of savers are sat in their default fund.

Commenting on the research, PensionsBee head of corporate development, Clare Reilly, said: “It’s critical we address the gulf between the views of modern savers and the pension options on offer.

“Our customers have made their voice clear: pension savers should benefit financially and socially from their investments."

The firm also highlighted the mandatory requirement for trustees to survey pension savers on their investment values, which the government recently abandoned, arguing that this had “remove[ed] a critical catalyst for change”.

Reilly added: "We do not want government reforms for environmental and social concerns to be reflected in pensions to become a tick-box exercise.”

This also follows recent research from LCP which revealed that almost a third of investment managers are still not considering ESG factors across all asset classes.

However, the Brunel Pension Partnership has recently announced a new climate policy, challenging the asset manager industry and threatening to remove those who fail to perform on climate related issues.

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