Over a third of pension savers keen on ethical investment

More than a third (36 per cent) of pension savers said that, although they were not currently investing ethically, they would like to be able to do so, according to research from Interactive Investor.

The findings, published inThe Great British Retirement Survey 2020, found that younger people were most keen on ethical investing, with 61 per cent of those aged between 18 and 23, and 59 per cent of those aged 24 to 29, expressing interest.

Comparatively, only around a quarter (27 per cent) of the 72 to 77 age group and 26 per cent of those aged over 77 said they would like to invest ethically, with 54 per cent and 57 per cent respectively saying they were not interested at all.

Women were more likely to be interested in ethical investing than men, with 42 per cent of women stating that they would like to be able to invest ethically and less than a third (32 per cent) of men saying the same.

Younger savers and women were therefore most likely to think that workplace pensions should offer ethical investments as a default option, with 65 per cent of those aged 18 to 23, 54 per cent of those aged between 24 and 29, and 42 per cent of women being in favour of the idea.

Even so, the two groups were also among the least likely to know how their pension was invested, with two-thirds (66 per cent) of women and 63 per cent of people under the age of 42 not knowing.

Across all age groups, more than half (53 per cent) of savers did not know whether their pension was invested in line with their values, while 19 per cent said it was not and 28 per cent said it was.

Interactive Investor head of pensions and savings, Becky O’Connor, said: “A pension pot is the most money many of us are ever likely to have to our names, so the lack of awareness around what it’s invested in and whether these investments are in line with our moral values is quite shocking.

"It’s hard to imagine this level of unawareness about anything else that we commit our money to in life.

“The survey shows that interest in ethical investing in pensions is there, particularly among women and young people.

"The problem is that the transparency around where workplace pension money goes from providers is generally poor. The level of information given seems to assume that people are not interested, rather than that they are.”

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