Greater stewardship sets course for a greener future

Pension schemes are joining forces to ensure they can contribute to a more sustainable society, as Britain builds back better, fairer and greener

The schemes have formed the Occupational Pensions Stewardship Council - which had its inaugural meeting today, and will provide a platform for sharing best practice and research, giving support to pension schemes wanting to take part in more thoughtful investment.

Stewardship activities which pension schemes may be able to play a more influential role in include shareholder resolutions, climate change and corporate governance.

Crucially, membership of the Council will support such schemes to understand the immediate ways that stewardship facilitates both sustainable financial returns, and better short, medium and long-term outcomes for hard-working pension savers.

Minister for Pensions, Guy Opperman said:

"The Occupational Pensions Stewardship Council will improve pension schemes’ and asset managers’ stewardship and engagement, helping companies ensure they are fit for purpose in the 21st Century.

"It seems to me that the role of pension schemes, trustees and asset managers over the next five to ten years will be utterly vital in the passage of this country, and the entire world, to net zero.

"The Council has been set up by the Department for Work and Pensions following recommendations made in the Treasury-led Investing with Purpose report, that a “dedicated council of UK pension schemes should be established to promote and facilitate high standards of stewardship of pension assets."

So far, 28 pension schemes – responsible for more than £550 billion of assets – have already signed up.

It is also aimed at occupational pension schemes and Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) pools looking to build a greater understanding of stewardship practices.

Council members will set the annual work plan and make decisions together, and will be supported by an engagement group comprised of Council members and key stakeholders.

Department for Work and Pensions
Guy Opperman MP