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Legislation forces pension funds to think ethically

UK pension funds will soon be forced to shift their investment strategy towards “socially responsible” investments.

Changes to the Pensions Act, due to take affect July 3, will compel fund managers to disclose if they take environmental, social and ethical matters into consideration when they decide where to invest.

A new survey conducted by the environmental consultancy ERM, indicates 21 out of the top 25 UK pension funds intend to implement socially responsible investment strategies.

Currently, investment by pension funds totals £800bn, but investment in “green” or ethical investments amounts to only £3bn. If fund managers are obliged to disclose their investment strategies industry sources predict this could quickly change.

ERM economist Brian Pearce says: “Pension funds are increasingly going to look for companies where the good management of environmental and social risks enhances, or at least, protects, shareholder value.”


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