Industry research reveals pension saver support for shareholder resolutions

More than half (61 per cent) of savers, representing around 19.4 million UK pension holders, believe that voting against the re-election of directors is an effective way to communicate dissatisfaction to companies, research from PensionBee has revealed.

PensionBee highlighted the findings as evidence that pension savers agree that shareholder resolutions can convey robust messages to management and address areas of concern, ahead of this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) season.

In contrast, the research found that just under a fifth (15 per cent) of respondents felt that challenging company management through voting was unnecessary, while 4 per cent advocated for taking no action at all, and 20 per cent expressed uncertainty about the best course of action.

However, PensionBee said that shareholders play a "crucial role" in corporate governance, and their votes hold significant weight in shaping the direction and decisions of companies, arguing that it is essential for investors to exercise their voting rights effectively to influence positive change and ensure alignment with their long-term pension returns.

It also argued that, by engaging in informed decision-making at shareholder meetings, investors can advocate for initiatives that promote areas including sustainability, transparency, and ethical business practices.

In particular, PensionBee highlighted issues around poor management of environmental and social risks, lack of diversity at senior levels, or excessively high executive pay as key concerns for shareholders.

PensionBee chief engagement officer, Clare Reilly, commented: “With increasing focus on shareholder engagement, PensionBee's survey highlights a growing demand among pension savers for strong corporate governance.

“With over six in ten respondents advocating for voting against directors where a company's actions can pose risks to the long-term profitability and performance of the company, the message is clear: shareholders are eager to wield their influence to drive accountability and effect change.”

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