UK - A local authority claims pension scheme resources are being wasted because its investment policy is being targeted by the Campaign Against Arms Trade.
The Norfolk County Council Pension Fund says the pressure group has sent mailings to trustees, elected members, council staff and church leaders over investment in “unethical companies”, including arms manufacturer BAE Systems and fighter plane engine manufacturer Rolls Royce.
The £1.1bn local authority scheme says it has suffered “severe disruption” and slammed the protest group’s unwillingness to enter into a constructive dialogue.
Scheme manager Nicola Mark said: “We responded to the initial correspondence explaining our preference for active engagement rather than exclusion and screening.
“We pointed out that the companies in question also produce wind turbines and automotive parts, but the campaign continued and we have to waste resources responding to individual enquiries.”
CAAT is set to release its annual figures identifying the local authorities investing in arms companies.
Campaign research co-ordinator Ian Prichard said: “We are not asking schemes to take action which affects their fiduciary duties but the authorities are using taxpayers’ money and have a responsibility to act in accordance with their concerns.”
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers