Pension schemes sign up to highlight stakeholder welfare

Several UK pension schemes and institutional investors have signed an investor statement emphasising the importance of stakeholder welfare during the coronavirus crisis.

The group are urging the business community to take steps such as making emergency paid leave available to all employees, prioritising worker safety by limiting COVID-19 exposure and retaining workers through the current crisis.

The statement also encouraged businesses to maintain relationships with customers and suppliers, while also exercising the highest level of ethical financial management and responsibility.

Signatories include the trustees of the Unison Staff Pension Scheme, the Church of England Pensions Board, Hymans Robertson Staff Pension Plan, Local Authority Pension Fund Forum and Local Pensions Partnership.

Some other notable sign-ups include Aviva Investors, BMO Global Asset Management and Man Group.

The group currently consists of 286 long-term institutional investors, who represent over $8.2trn in assets under management with global exposure across capital markets.

Hymans Robertson Staff Pension Plan governance committee chair, Rona Train, commented: “Covid-19 is a global threat which is already straining our social and financial systems.

"Everyone across the UK, and billions around the world, have been forced to adapt in some way as schools and workplaces are shut down and for many, business outlooks become less secure.”

Train said that the decision to add the plan’s name to the investor statement was not difficult “as the core values of our firm chime so closely with those articulated in the statement”, adding that “well run companies will not only contribute positively to society during this difficult time, but will also reap the benefits in terms of strong performance over the longer term”.

The statement was penned by Domini Impact Investments, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility and the office of the New York City comptroller, Scott Stringer.

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