Stockholm (NordSIP) – Danes have a clear attitude towards what they think their pension companies should and shouldn’t invest in, but only 8 per cent are aware of how their pension savings are actually invested, according to a survey conducted by research institute Epinion commissioned by Danish pension company Sampension.
By contrast, 54 per cent trust, believe and hope that their pension company actually invests in companies that act ethically. While international sanctions, weapons, human rights, tobacco and the environment are all subjects of concern, the most important issue companies must avoid when investing pension savings is actually infringement of employees’ rights.
“The result may be a little surprising, but most Danes have their pension savings through their job, and pensioners’ money must be invested in companies that behave properly, starting with the relationships they offer their employees,” said Sampension Communications and HR Director Søren P. Espersen.
The survey finds that 55 per cent of respondents would opt out of investments in companies that do not comply with employee rights. Next come companies whose production damages the environment. Every other Dane would reject companies that do not comply with international sanctions or who produce weapons, while every third Dane would opt out of investments in tobacco companies.
“It’s the same picture we see among customers and members of the Sampension community, but the proportion that would opt out of unethical investments is markedly higher,” Espersen said.
Particularly women want to opt out of investments they consider unethical. The single most important factor for pensioners is that investments have a good return.
“First and foremost, we must earn money to live when we grow old. That’s what pension companies are for. This does not stand in contrast to investing responsibly. Responsible investments and long-term returns go hand in hand,” Espersen added.
43 per cent of Danes say they would oppose an investment they consider ethically unsustainable even if it yields high returns.
Sampension just recently published its first report on sustainable investments, and has doubled its resources in the area.
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