Pension schemes and providers urged to divest from Russia

Make My Money Matter has called on UK pension schemes and providers to stop investing in Russia and to divest from their Russian investments as soon as possible.

The call comes in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has drawn international condemnation since it began in February.

Following announcements from major pension schemes, companies, and sovereign wealth funds worldwide, the campaign group urged UK schemes to follow in the footsteps of Nest, the Church of England, Legal and General, Norway’s KLP, the New York Police Pension Fund, and “countless more” that are reducing their exposure to the Russian economy.

Make My Money Matter noted that 86 per cent of the British public believed that UK pensions should not be invested in Russia.

Make My Money Matter CEO, Tony Burdon, commented “Our pensions are invested in Russian government debt.

“We believe this is morally wrong and financially unsustainable in the current climate. And the British public agree with 86 per cent saying they don’t believe UK pensions should be invested in Russia.

“That’s why we’re calling on all pension providers to divest from their Russian investment as soon as possible.

“In doing so, the financial sector can display moral leadership, sound financial management, and help protect the savings of UK pension holders.”

This comes after The Pensions Regulator (TPR) advised pension scheme trustees to be “vigilant” and to seek advice on what actions should be taken in response to Russia’s invasion.

TPR suggested that trustees for defined benefit pension schemes should consider their short-term liquidity needs.

Trustees were also urged to consider whether the employer or sponsor of the scheme has been affected, with the regulator saying that this could have consequences on the employer covenant for DB schemes, and whether investments remain aligned with their statement of investment principles.

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