“Make Our Money Count”
– Public Demand for Sustainable Pensions & Savings Reaches Record High
Climate Anxiety is taking hold of our younger friend and relations, as a member of Women in Sustainability I regularly meet to exchange ideas on a range of subjects including sustainable fashion, food waste and how to make a positive difference in the world we inhabit.
As a member of the Ethical Investment community, I work with clients to ensure their money is used to meet their needs first and then to meet their values.
Until recently it has been a slow burn, with many critics and challenges from within the retail investment community. However, attitudes are changing and so are the opportunities.
The City’s Green Initiative is a welcome response.
The City institutions are now on board, fearing overwhelming insurance claims from disasters caused by the changing weather and reducing values of assets within the larger pension funds, most of which have historically relied on returns from fossil fuels.
The benefit of running a small firm, allowing freedom to move quickly, is that I recognised the opportunities to invest in alternative energy, new science and engineering developments.
Having access to excellent research on what is actually in the chosen funds, I have been able to provide investments that have outperformed the stock market for the last 5 years.
They have been good for my clients and good for our future.
My research process allows for client specific investments that meet their values and avoid investments in things they are unhappy about, for example a young Vet student recently asked me to invest only in funds that have a good Animal Welfare approach.
I have always believed that Capitalism is good, but it must be Good Capitalism.
Providing money to help solve problems;
ESG means Ethical Social and Governance.
Governance means that the providers of collective funds demand changes at Board level in the way firms are run, for the benefit of their employees, the local community and their supply chain.
Pension Death Benefits : NEST
I have only recently been told that the death benefits under NEST should have Nominations for Death Benefits added, as the fund otherwise would go to the member’s estate, where it could be subject to taxation.
As NEST pensions are the preferred pension for many employee schemes it would be helpful if you let any members of the family or friends know. It’s a simple matter to obtain a Nomination form directly from NEST
For those friends or family who are in employee schemes or have retained benefits, it is advisable for them to check the Scheme Rules.
Do you know anyone who may be involved in a divorce?
I know its not usual to enquire about their financial settlement at an early stage.
It could be very helpful if you did, as it seems that a majority of divorcing couples are relying on their Solicitors to value the pension benefits.
As pensions are a very complex area of finance, with a wide range of rules and taxation, Solicitors are not generally understanding but instead are relying on the pension trustees or providers to supply the answers.
Clearly the pension trustees and, in some cases, the providers, have a vested interest.
It is important that specific pension advice is sought, to avoid costly mistakes.
We can help ask the right questions and get better, fairer outcomes.