Case Study: The International Union for Conservation of Nature

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest professional global conservation network, which is headquartered in Switzerland, offers a wide range of funds to members of its contracted-in money purchase scheme.

The scheme has been taken up by 28 of its 31 employees based in Cambridge, as well 35 deferred members. The scheme’s default investment option, in which most members are invested, is a with-profits fund supplied by the plan’s provider, Standard Life. The IUCN previously considered changing the default to a managed fund but, after consulting its employees, had concerns about high levels of equities at a time when markets were riding high.

To help staff with investment decisions, the organisation provides group presentations and offers the facility for employees to obtain individual advice if they desire.

Given the mixed demographics of its pension scheme membership, market falls, and the publicity surrounding with-profits funds, the IUCN is keen to review its default options. Towry Law will give presentations to employees to explain the options and ascertain their views.

The IUCN has also set up an internal pension committee, which will help to formulate decisions.