Start a conversation about your pension
Speak about your pension in your workplace
While it’s your savings that go into your pension, it is your employer who is your pension provider’s customer. They hold the keys. The pension provider takes your savings and puts it into funds – basically pools of people’s money which is then invested. Lots of people have the choice of at least 2 funds to go into:
- a ‘default’ fund which you automatically get put into, and
- an ‘ethical fund’ which you have to choose to go into.
If you are unhappy with the fund options that are available to you, then the first step is to start a conversation about your pension in your workplace.
Hear from Caroline about how she asked her employer to stop her pension funding climate breakdown:
How to change your workplace pension
1. Ask to change your pension provider, or the fund available to you
If it turns out the fund options you have aren’t good enough, you can ask your employer to make a change. First, find out if your employer helps decide which funds are available to you.
- If your employer doesn’t have a say on which funds are available to you, then they would need to change to a different pension provider for you to have different fund options.
- If your employer does help decide which funds are available to you, they can look at the fund options the pension provider has given them and make a different selection.
- If there are no fund choices available to you, you can simply ask that your pension’s impact on the world around us is considered by decision-makers. Your employer should carry out a review of their pension provision at some point in the future. Find out when the last one was and give them a nudge to ask when the next one will be. See if you can get them to commit to reviewing the impact of pensions on the world around us then.
It may be that you or your employer want more info before doing anything. We’re happy to help where we can and offer training sessions on pensions, the world they are building, and the options available to you and your employer.
2. Ask your employer to contact the pension provider and tell them they want your money to do good
It’s rare for pension providers to hear from our employers that we want our money to be doing good. If they aren’t hearing it, they don’t think their customers want it. If employers ask this simple question, pension providers may start to realise.
Do you have more than one fund choice with your pension provider?
What concerns might your employer have?
Picking a pension provider isn’t a quick and easy decision for an employer. It costs money, and they have to make sure they choose one who is going to look after your pension well. When you start a conversation about your pension, why not point them in the direction of these 2 resources:
- Our ranking of 10 of the most commonly used pension providers. This compares how they do on investing our money responsibly.
- Good With Money’s Good Guide to Pensions. This is a comprehensive overview of different pension scheme types with lots of information on the cost, performance and investments of different funds.
Here are some arguments your employer may make, and some top tips for responding:
Switching to a responsible pension is too expensive
- Pension providers have set-up and ongoing costs for employers. Responsible pension providers can be more expensive, as the provider does more work researching companies, while some employers also pay financial advisers to help them make decisions.
Counter argument: Younger workers increasingly want organisations to do more than just make money. They want to see them have a positive social and environmental impact. Having a pension that helps make positive impact could increase staff motivation, and the performance of your organisation.
We don’t have time to research new pension providers and switching our pension
Counter argument: Our organisation has values and stands for something. This should be considered across the organisation’s impact as a whole, especially when our pensions contribute significantly in investing in companies and projects today. There is a cost of organisational integrity if our pension clashes with our values. Addressing this should be a priority.
Your pension is for your retirement, why do you care about what it’s being invested in?
Counter argument: Our pensions can do good and make money. Employers have a duty to select a pension provider that will be able to provide a good retirement income for employers and have a positive impact today. You can do good with your money without losing out financially.