Today we’re delighted to launch Make My Money Matter, a brand new campaign calling for the trillions invested through our pensions to help build a better world.  

Through this campaign, we aim to empower each and every one of us to know where our money is invested, to understand the impact that it is having, and to ensure it aligns with our values while still getting a good return. 

In doing this, we believe we can help spark a movement that moves billions of pounds into investments which create a more just, equitable and sustainable world. 

Because nothing less is needed if we are to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, meet the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement, and build back better from the coronavirus pandemic. 

So, why pensions? 

Right now, there is over £3 trillion invested through UK pensions alone, and nearly £40 trillion globally. 

This is our money, but very few of us would be able to say how it is invested, and what impact it is having on the world. Most of the time, our money is invested on our behalf without checking whether it aligns with our values.  

This contradiction means that ethical consumers may have a pension that invests in fast fashion; vegans may have pensions that invest in meat production, climate activists may have pensions that invest in fossil fuels, or even doctors with pensions that invest in tobacco. 

This has to change.  

A recent Make My Money Matter survey found that nearly three-quarters of British people either don’t know or don’t believe their pensions are invested in line with their values. And despite everything, we know that nearly 70% of the British public would like to see their money make a positive impact in the world. Over half would be prepared to save more if they knew their money did so.  

It’s time that all pension savers are able to have voice and choice in where their money goes. That’s why we are launching this campaign, to make sure all our money matters.  

Working together with government, industry and business we’re going to change our pensions system and ensure that our money helps build a better world while it grows.  

Over the past decade, we’ve seen that investments that focus on responsible businesses make better returns than the rest of the market. 

So, over the coming months we’ll be campaigning for the pensions industry to do three things – firstly, to listen to savers, and explain how our views and values have influenced their investments; secondly to play their part in tackling the climate emergency by making all pension funds at least halve their carbon emissions by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier; and finally, to grow the amount of investment that is focused on having a positive impact on people and planet. 

But it’s not just up to the pensions industry to fix this. We all have a part to play. 

If you have a pension, you can sign up to our manifesto calling for change. You can write to your employer or to your pension fund, and ask how your money is being invested, and what impact it has on people and planet. If you’re not happy with the answer, you can ask how it can do better. 

If you are a business, an NGO, local authority, university or any other employer, have a look at your staff pension scheme. Does it build a world that you want your employees to retire into? Is it aligned with your mission or your values? If not, work with the Trustees or pension provider to see how it can do better. 

Our campaign has been a while in development, and like all of us, knocked back by the coronavirus pandemic, but we believe our message is more important than ever. We’ve been helped by so many people along the way – and I’d like to thank you for your unwavering support. We wouldn’t have got here without you! 

I hope you’ll continue to support us, and bring others along with us on this critical journey. It’s time to make our money matter! 

Tony Burdon 
Make My Money Matter