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Responsible pension investment ramps up

Royal London has found that more people wish to invest their pension responsibly to help tackle climate change.

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Combating climate change and working sustainably is fast becoming more and more important to employees, as a report commissioned by Unily previously found that 72% of multigenerational employees said they were concerned about environmental ethics.

 

It therefore may come as no surprise that people also want their pension invested responsibly to help tackle climate change.

 

In fact, research from pension provider Royal London has found that 57% of people want their pension to be invested responsibly, with only one in 10 stating that they don’t want their pension invested in this manner.

 

However, despite this enthusiasm, just one in seven people who have a pension have currently decided to invest it responsibly.

 

The study revealed some encouraging figures though, as of the people who do not currently invest responsibly, 33% stated that they were more likely to do so once they had been given an explanation of what responsible investing involves.

 

“While it’s really encouraging that people are willing to change their habits to help tackle climate change, we’ve got a long way to go to get people to think about checking where their pension is invested in the same way they look at the amount of plastic packaging on fruit and vegetables,” said Sarah Pennells, consumer finance specialist at Royal London.

 

She noted that one of the key blockers is that people do not know what responsible investment involves or where to start and added that “that’s a challenge we have to address”.

 

Pension divides

Royal London also found an age-divide with those investing responsibly. For example, more 18 to 34-year-olds (66%) are willing to invest their pension like this compared to those aged over 55 (40%).

 

A divide between women and men was also highlighted, as 52% of women were more likely to invest responsibly compared to 47% of men.

 

Plus, more women (46%) than men (41%) stated that they are interested in investing but do not know where to start.

 

Pennells concluded: “Our standard of living is shaped by our finances and the environment we live in. Having a large pension fund isn’t going to guarantee a great retirement if your home is at increased risk of flooding, or the air quality in your neighbourhood is poor, because of the effects of climate change.”

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