Smart Pension becomes signatory to Stewardship Code

Smart Pension Master Trust approved by the FRC as a signatory to the UK Stewardship Code 2020

Smart Pension, one of the UK’s leading workplace pension schemes, announces that its master trust, the Smart Pension Master Trust, has been approved by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as a signatory to the UK Stewardship Code 2020 (‘the Code’).

The Code sets high stewardship standards for those investing money on behalf of UK savers and pensioners, and service providers that support them. Stewardship is the responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries, leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, the environment and society.

The Code recognises that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters have become material risks for investors to consider when making investment decisions and undertaking stewardship. It requires signatories to evidence their stewardship activities and show how they integrate ESG factors into investment decisions.

To become a signatory to the Code, organisations must submit to the FRC a Stewardship Report demonstrating how they have applied the Code’s 12 Principles in the previous 12 months.

The Smart Pension Master Trust prepared its first Stewardship Report, summarising the Trustee’s activities throughout the year to 30 June 2022. The Stewardship Report meets the requirements of the UK Stewardship Code and details how the master trust’s beliefs and policies are translated into investment decisions and the engagements the master trust makes.

Paul Bucksey, Chief Investment Officer at Smart Pension, commented:

“We are delighted to become a signatory to the UK Stewardship Code. This further evidences our commitment to high standards of stewardship, engagement and responsible investing. We want to help our members achieve great financial outcomes as well as a safer, healthier world in which they can retire. The Stewardship Code is integral to the investment community achieving these long-term sustainable goals.”

Fiona Smith, Investment Proposition Manager at Smart Pension, commented:

“At Smart Pension, we have the ability to play an influential role through our stewardship activities on important issues such as climate change. Working together, we believe pension schemes, trustees and asset managers can help achieve the global goal to reach net zero. Our Stewardship Code Report shows our approach to engagement and the work we have done so far with our asset managers. We believe that becoming a signatory is a key step in our sustainability journey.”

About Smart Pension

Launched in 2015, Smart Pension exceeds £5bn in assets under management (AUM) and now serves over one million members and more than 70,000 employers. It is powered by Keystone, Smart’s global savings and investments technology platform.

Aquiline Capital Partners, Barclays, Chrysalis Investments, DWS Group, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, J.P. Morgan, Legal & General Investment Management, Link Group and Natixis Investment Managers are all investors in Smart Pension.