Savers still expressing desire for fossil fuel investments

Research from the pension provider, which surveyed 1,036 savers, found 79% of respondents said they did not want to completely exclude fossil fuel investments. Over two-fifths (43%) stated they wished to continue to invest in the fossil fuel sector providing the companies demonstrated their commitments to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions to be as close to net zero as possible.

However, when compared to 2022, there has been a slight rise in the number of savers wanting to see investments in the oil sector entirely excluded from their scheme’s investments, at 21% compared to 15% last year.

PensionBee also found when it came to voting and utilising their investments to urge companies to commit to climate change action, the top priority for savers was to see companies reduce their carbon emissions, rather than purchase offsets to counteract their emissions and prevent the destruction of nature and wildlife.

However, only 13% said they were interested in active shareholding and intended to use their investments in fossil fuel companies to enable them to vote at companies’ annual general meetings in order to facilitate change in a more efficient and timely manner.

Director of public affairs Becky O’Connor said: “Pensions are investments. Through them, trillions of pounds are invested in companies that can improve or harm the planet and society through their business activities and collectively, that is our money, which will be used to fund our retirements.

“At PensionBee, we believe that companies that focus on their contribution to society and the planet have a better long-term chance of being financially sustainable and will bring stronger returns. We are guided by our customers’ views to ensure we continue to provide products that are aligned with evolving public opinion in this space.”