57% want their pension to be invested responsibly

30% of employees do not know where their pension savings go

New research has found that while approximately 3.14 million people (15%) currently invest responsibly in their pension either through their workplace or privately, an additional six million could change to responsible investing once they understand what it involves.

Mutual pension provider Royal London revealed that more than half (57%) want their pension to be invested responsibly to help tackle climate change. Only one in 10 (9%) don’t want this, whereas just one in seven (15%) who have a pension currently do.

Of those who do not invest responsibly, a third (33%) said they were more likely to do so once they had been given an explanation of what it actually involves. Meanwhile, around two in five (44%) people are interested in doing so but don’t know where to start.

The research highlighted an age divide, with 66% of 18-34-year-olds willing to invest their pension responsibly than 40% of those aged 55 and above. A total of 52% of women were more likely to say that all pensions should be invested responsibly than 47% of men, with 46% of women and 41% of men saying they are interested in doing so but are unsure of where to start.

Sarah Pennells, consumer finance specialist at Royal London, explained that the research shows that one of the blockers is that people simply don’t know what responsible investment involves or where to start, and that’s a challenge that needs addressing.

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“Our standard of living is shaped by our finances and the environment we live in. Having a large pension fund isn’t going to guarantee a great retirement if your home is at increased risk of flooding, or the air quality in your neighbourhood is poor, because of the effects of climate change.”

Royal London commissioned a survey by Opinium, with a sample of 2,000 nationally representative UK adults.