UK - Pension decision-makers are unaware of the impact of socially responsible investment (SRI) within the new stakeholder pensions environment, according to research by Friends Provident.
Pensions provider Friends commissioned the research amongst pension managers in 200 small/medium-sized companies to measure awareness and attitudes towards SRI and stakeholder. The research found that despite a low level of awareness there was much interest in SRI, as well as a need for further advice.
Other findings included:
*Only 10% of respondents had heard of the requirement for stakeholder schemes to have a statement of investment principles.
*33% of respondents said that it was very or fairly important for a provider to offer SRI, with a further 46% saying it was of average importance.
*25% of interviewees said that SRI would affect their choice of stakeholder scheme, with a further 44% indicating it was of average importance.
Friends said many schemes have now reacted positively to pressure from the scheme members who want more SRI options.
“However, given that stakeholder pensions are new, and launched since the rule change, the fact that the same rules also apply to stakeholder has so far had a pretty low profile,” added the firm.
“Indeed, it would appear that the majority of stakeholder providers offer no SRI option to their members.” By Janet Du Chenne