In this guest blog, Henna Shah, from Make My Money Matter, explains why our pensions are such powerful tools to bring about change and how we can get involved. 

Lots of us are trying to lead more sustainable lives – eating less meat, buying ethical products, and going on holiday closer to home. But while you’re changing your lifestyle, the money you’re saving for your retirement could be doing lots of other things while it grows. It could be drilling for oil, arming dictators, using child labour to make cheap t-shirts, and dumping waste into the sea.

Make My Money Matter is a new, people-powered campaign pushing for us to know where our money is invested and for us to have more power over where it goes.

7/10 Britons want their investments to be responsible and impactful, but only 2 out of every 10 pounds is actually invested this way.

There is £3 trillion in UK pensions – that’s our money – which we could be using to build a better world. Investing in renewable energy, affordable housing, and a cure for cancer. Powering homes without polluting the air. Connecting people through modern transport and communication networks. Supporting companies who treat their workers fairly, wherever they are in the world.

We’re asking for the pensions industry to do three things: listen to what we as pension savers want and incorporate our views when they make investment decisions, tackle the climate emergency by committing to halving emissions by 2030 and going Net Zero by 2050, and growing the amount of investment in their portfolio that has a positive impact on people and planet.

It’s a huge challenge, but we’ve already seen success. Aviva, Nest, BT, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester pension funds have committed to Net Zero since we launched our campaign in the summer. That’s around £152bn that’s tackling the climate emergency.

You can help make this happen:

  1. If you know who your pension provider is, ask them to go Net Zero now
  2. Write to your HR department and ask if your workplace pension is invested in line with your company’s values.
  3. Share our message to let others know about Pensions with Intentions! A great way to start a conversation with your church about pensions is to use the Money Makes Change interactive workshop to help you explore this topic further. Conversation 4 includes a conversation starter on pensions and ideas for action.

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