Smart Pension leads the way towards a net zero future

Over 70% of the master trust’s default investment strategy is in ESG focused funds

Smart Pension leads the way towards a net zero future
  • Over 70% of the master trust’s default investment strategy is in ESG focused funds
  • Members’ pensions savings are helping to create positive change
  • Pension funds will be in the spotlight later this week at climate summit COP26 

Smart Pension has today shared that the majority of its master trust default investment strategy1 assets are now held in equity funds that invest in a portfolio of companies that pass a strict Environmental, Society and Governance (ESG) assessment. The transition to these funds means that the Smart Pension Master Trust is well ahead of its peers when it comes to responsible investing.

This comes in the same month as the global climate summit, COP26, is set to take place in Glasgow. The Smart Pension Master Trust has been working to support industry action group Make My Money Matter, headed up by Tony Burdon and Richard Curtis, and its pledge to become a net zero emissions pension fund well ahead of the Paris Agreement goal of 2050. 

Earlier this year, Smart Pension opened up the benefits of illiquids for its members, through the new MV Dual Credit strategy, a first for a private sector master trust in the UK. The solution, as part of a longer term strategy to develop and diversify the default investment strategy, was launched in partnership with Natixis Investment Managers. Both initiatives form part of Smart Pension’s innovative approach: delivering better outcomes for members, and enabling them to express a conviction in environmental, social and governance principles for the betterment of the world they will retire into in the future.

Paul Bucksey, Managing Director at Smart Pension, said: 

“With the success of industry action groups such as Make My Money Matter, and from our own research, we know that our members are increasingly looking at what their pensions savings are doing as they accumulate. Smart Pension is leading the pack with more assets in ESG approved funds than ever.
“As a top priority for Smart Pension, we will be introducing many more responsible investment initiatives over the coming months. It’s our responsibility to make sure that our members’ money not only gives them a great return in retirement but is working for the planet too in the meantime.” 

James Lawrence, Head of Investment Proposition at Smart Pension, said: 

“Smart Pension is well ahead of its industry competitors. We're always reviewing our investments and looking to the future at how we can invest even more into sustainable funds that benefit society and the environment. This increased allocation to the Future World funds in particular means we are making real strides on our net zero journey, given the temperature reduction aims embedded into the funds. We’ll continue to innovate with our investment solution, to ensure we are reaching our net zero goal in a market leading, yet robust, way."

As an additional part of its commitment to an industry-leading investment approach, the trustees of the Smart Pension Master Trust trust have committed to invest in impact funds to make a real difference to the communities that its pension savers live in.

In 2022 Smart will move its global HQ to one of the first all-electric office buildings in the West End of London. The six storey building will be operationally carbon zero from day one, with electricity from renewable sources and is WiredScore 'Gold' Certified, targeting BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and WELL ready status.

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.