While almost one in two people have changed their spending habits in the last year to be more “ethically aware”, only 12.6 per cent have asked where there pension is invested, according to new research.
This survey found that a significant number of people (47.1 per cent) wanted their pensions to align with their social and ethical values. However, at present more than half of the 2,000 people surveyed (56.9 per cent) said they were unlikely to ask their boss about how sustainable their pensions investments were.
The survey was conducted for Good Money Week, a campaign designed to raise the profile of ethical and sustainable investment options.
Charlene Cranny, campaigns director, Good Money Week, says: “For most of us – particularly since the introduction of workplace auto-enrolment – pensions are our largest savings pot.
“However, Good Money Week’s findings show that we are not considering where this money is invested and what impact it is having on people and the environment.”
She said many people want to ensure that their pension savings are used in ways that match up with their everyday values. She urged these employees to ask their boss or HR manager where their workplace pension was invested, and whether it could be invested more sustainably.
She adds: ”Even if you don’t know much about your pension, asking the question means your company will know these things matter to their employees, and that they need to consider them too when choosing or speaking with the workplace scheme provider.”
Gregg McClymont, director of policy at the People’s Pension, adds: “Savers live increasingly busy lives, and don’t have the time or the ambition to become investment experts.
“A good pensions system goes with the grain of this reality. With engagement levels so low, good outcomes will depend on well-run pension schemes that put their members’ interests first at all times.
“We ask our members their views on ethical and responsible investment issues, which we take into consideration when planning our investments.”
Lorna Blyth, head of investment solutions at Royal London, adds: “People don’t naturally connect their savings with the ability to make a social or environmental impact.
“However, if we help customers understand that they can, we could see increased engagement levels especially among younger savers.”