Welcome to the ‘why, what, how, where and when’ of transforming the world with pension power, featuring many helpful sources of information.
You’ve seen how the media has covered climate change and its potential impact on businesses, the economy and society. As part of the same conversation, there are ‘ESG’ (environmental, social and governance) factors that influence the way that money is invested around the globe.
The choices you make about your pension could impact each of these factors, potentially changing the future for the better.
Why 'pension power'?
Pensions have the economic power to change things, and so do you.
Your pension contributions are part of something bigger. Around £6 trillion is invested in UK private pensions, and Aviva has more than £80 billion invested in its workplace pensions. We also act with other like-minded organisations, helping to lead the pensions industry in responsible and sustainable investing.
We plan to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040
That’s the most demanding target of any major insurance company in the world. This objective affects every part of our pensions business, including where we invest your workplace pension contributions. And as a member of an Aviva workplace pension scheme, your contributions are already partly directed towards investing in a low carbon economy and in companies that adhere to environmental, social and governance (‘ESG’) principles.
ESG is a set of principles that guide us when we invest your pension contributions
It means that we assess a company’s climate change policy; its energy consumption and waste production; and its relations with its employees and the wider community. We then weigh up all of these factors to make sure we’re comfortable with an investment’s impact in the real world.
The 'social' and 'governance' part of ESG is as important as the environmental issues
The 'S' in ESG is about how companies treat the people who work for them, including the people who work for the businesses in their supply chains, all around the world. Within ESG’s social scope, human and labour rights of people are paramount. The ‘G’ looks at the way a business is run such as the quality of management, the diversity of the board and conflicts of interest, as well as its balance sheet.
You’re an indirect investor in the world around you through your workplace pension
You have more power to influence change than you may realise. Of course, there’s a lot more to the terms you’ll hear: ‘responsible’; ‘ethical’; ‘sustainable’; ‘net zero carbon’; and ‘ESG’. These words overlap in places and mean different things to different people. Often, they provoke more questions than answers. But if you’re ready to find out more, it’s a good place to start.
What and how
The ‘what’ and ‘how’ of investing in a responsible way can also be educational; an exciting way of finding out more about your pension and how it works. So here’s a selection of content you can watch, read or study to get up to speed on what we do and how we do it.
Here’s what you need to know about investing your money in a sustainable way
Find out in this short, simple guide about what ESG investing means in practice.
Do you know how your money is invested?
Our short video summarises how your pension contributions can become sustainable investments.
What's the difference between ESG and ethical investing?
No problem. This guide highlights the differences between these terms.
Where and when
The next question you might ask is ‘Where can I find out more about sustainable investing and when can I do something about it?’ It all depends on how far you want to take it. Think about where you stand on the issues and then click on the information below for a bigger picture.
People have different attitudes to investing.
You might be focused on maximising your pension and might not be all that interested in responsible investment. However, if your workplace pension contributions are invested in certain ‘default’ funds, you might already be helping to address important issues. For example, through Aviva’s My Future and My Future Focus investment programmes.
Some workplace pension scheme members are more engaged with ESG issues
Some people might wish to invest a significant amount of their pension contributions in responsible investments. Your workplace pension will normally give you the opportunity to select investment funds that satisfy your needs.
The simplest way to check the funds that your pension savings are invested in is by activating or logging in to your online account
You’ll find information on how to change your investments if you want to make any adjustments.
Here's how responsible investment is helping to create positive change
We've identified four reasons why responsible investing is good news.
Why the focus on responsible investment in pensions?
Six factors that have driven responsible investment in the last few years.
Looking for something else?
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