I feel a strong desire for change amongst my contemporaries, and can see people taking action everywhere. From my friends who buy second-hand clothes, to my family who have switched to a renewable energy supplier, to my colleague Emily, our Head of Talent, who created our generous new parent policy, an important feature of PensionBee’s wonderful approach to being a supportive and inclusive employer.
It’s scary to reflect on the challenges we currently face, such as dangerous levels of climate change and massive wage inequality, with less than half of the FTSE 100 companies paying a living wage. But the energy for change makes me hopeful and optimistic.
The Make My Money Matter (MMMM) Campaign, co-founded by the director of Love Actually, Richard Curtis, CBE, officially launched a couple of weeks ago. It aims to bring awareness to how changing the way a person’s pension is invested can increase their effectiveness in reducing their carbon footprint 27 times, compared to not flying and adopting a vegan diet combined.
The MMMM campaign has the potential to substantially increase consumer demand for more sustainable investments, and thereby redirect much of the trillions invested in the collective UK pension pot to address the challenges of today. The campaign is getting people’s attention, and Gary Lineker, former professional footballer and current sports broadcaster, tweeted to over 7 million followers about how he’s going to engage with his pension providers about how his money is invested.
This is very interesting. Hadn’t even contemplated that investment into our pensions could be so questionable. Will be asking questions now, though. https://t.co/rVH9Wh6o7d— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 30, 2020
The campaign aims to educate the public about how most pensions are currently invested; funding fossil fuel, controversial weapons and tobacco producers. It also suggests an alternative vision: for more of the collective pension pot to be invested sustainably, for example, to support clean energy producers, health care providers, and companies with strong records on human rights. MMMM believes that doing good with your money is profitable, ‘investing in businesses that treat their staff well, have a sustainable business model, and consider their impact on people and [the] planet will be smart investment decisions. There is also a growing body of evidence that shows sustainable pension funds are as profitable - if not more so - than default funds.’
MMMM empowers millions of people to contact their employers and pension funds, and provides digital tools to make this quick, easy and effective. Due to Auto Enrolment, all employed people in the U.K. are assigned a pension, and so this is an action that almost everyone can take.
We’re proud to be one of the first pledge partners of the campaign, and excited to be involved along with a diverse range of partners such as Oxfam and Triodos Bank.
People are becoming more aware of how their pensions are invested, and our research shows that most want to balance making money with creating positive social outcomes.
The voices of savers are already driving meaningful progress, with our engaged customers leading us to drive the creation of the UK’s first mainstream fossil fuel free fund. After we learned about significant calls from customers for us to remove fossil fuels from their pensions, we initially investigated the market for a mainstream fossil fuel free fund, and found a dearth of suitable options. Therefore we shared our customer feedback with our money managers, who reacted positively to evidence of consumer demand, and Legal & General is currently building the first mainstream fossil fuel free fund. You can join the waitlist here, to be amongst the first to know when it’s released.
PensionBee shares the MMMM campaign’s vision to live in a world where everyone can look forward to a happy retirement, to be able to enjoy good health in a safe environment, stable finances, and social inclusion. The pensions industry can achieve this using the combined power of many trillions in pension investments. It’s a huge task but there is movement towards this vision, and rapid change is possible.