Pension savers should be handed the legal right to ask pension providers and trustees for details on how their money is being invested, says a responsible investment charity.
ShareAction has prepared an amendment to the Pension Schemes Bill that would compel occupational and personal pension schemes and investment intermediaries to give individuals information on their investments.
If included in legislation, the changes would allow savers to ask trustees and managers of personal pension schemes for details including: how investments have been selected; when they were sold; how managers have used their voting rights and engaged with investee companies; and how managers have been selected and monitored.
Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham and vice-chair of the all party parliamentary group on responsible investment Martin Horwood is backing ShareAction’s amendment.
He says: “This is needed as part the general trend towards greater company accountability to their shareholders. The Government has done quite a lot to make companies more transparent and accessible to their individual shareholders but most people invest through their pensions, so this is ensuring people can get that kind of info out of their schemes and other institutional investors on behalf of the ordinary saver.”
ShareAction chief executive Catherine Howarth says: “Our amendment would bring much needed transparency into the system. People who invest other people’s retirement savings would no longer be allowed to ignore requests from savers to find out where and how the money is invested.”
Rowley Turton director Scott Gallacher says: “This would create yet more red tape that the financial services and pensions industry can do without.”