Magazine article Public Finance

Call for Ballot on Ethical Pensions

Magazine article Public Finance

Call for Ballot on Ethical Pensions

Article excerpt

Liverpool City Council is pressing the Merseyside Pension Fund to give its members a vote on whether ethical issues should be included in its investment principles.

The £4.3bn fund holds the pension savings of about 100,000 staff at five local authorities and other employers. Its investments include arms maker BAE Systems and military supplier Rolls Royce.

Liverpool council is now demanding a ballot of beneficiaries, to see if they want an ethical dimension' added to the fund's Statement of Investment Principles, in line with a resolution passed unanimously by councillors on July 9.

Liberal Democrat councillor Richard Oglethorpe, who proposed the motion, said: 'Decisions about the use of these funds, which belong to the pension fund members, have traditionally been left in the hands of a few councillors and council officers and their consultant advisers. I am calling for the views of pension fund members to also be heard.'

Beneficiaries should be able to say whether they 'mind their money potentially being invested in nuclear power, in countries with oppressive regimes, in the arms industry or in polluting activities', Oglethorpe added. …

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