It's still a surprise for some people to learn that, until we retire, pension providers invest all your pension savings into companies on the stock market.
They do this to (hopefully!) earn a share of company profits to pass on to you for your retirement. This is how you might receive a little more at retirement than you put away.
This is a good thing - until you look at which companies your pension is profiting from. Fossil fuels, tobacco, factory farming, payday lenders and other types of companies doing more harm than good to people and the planet.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. It's your money and you have a say where it goes.
What can you do to have a more ethical pension?
Taking action with your pension is probably the single most effective thing you can do to make the world greener, cleaner and kinder, because pension funds invest trillions of pounds into the economy. This makes them enormously powerful. Powerful enough to shift HUGE chunks of money towards more sustainable companies and force the bad companies they own to change. But guess what, that money is all ours and so is the power.
Make My Money Matter is doing brilliant work to encourage pension funds to think about their environmental impact when they invest in companies. To reduce global emissions Make My Money Matter found that a ‘green’ pension is 21x more powerful than switching to renewable electricity, giving up meat and quitting flights COMBINED.
So how do we make pensions greener, cleaner and kinder?
While the pensions industry is starting to pay more attention to these issues and change how they invest, many are not. So we have to step up and take back control of what happens to our pension savings.