86% of people don’t want pension schemes in Russia to be funded, activists say

About 86% of people believe UK pensions should not be invested in Russia, a poll conducted for a campaign group has found.

The poll of 2,000 people across the UK was conducted for Make My Money Matter, an organization co-founded by filmmaker Richard Curtis.

The group is calling on UK pension schemes to stop investing in Russia and divest themselves of their Russian investments as soon as possible.

The Church of England Pensions Board recently ordered managers to withdraw from direct holdings in Russian companies.

The asset manager abrdn, which emerged from the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management, has already reduced its exposure to Russia in recent weeks and declared it uninvestable for the foreseeable future.

The financial sector can demonstrate moral leadership and sound financial management and help protect the savings of UK pensioners

Tony Burdon, Make My Money Matter

Hedge fund Man Group also previously said it almost completely sold out of Russia and Ukraine ahead of Christmas amid fears of rising tensions and sanctions.

And Helen Dean, CEO of pension provider Nest, said this week: “Given the situation in Ukraine, we will withdraw all our investments in Russian government bonds and Russian companies as soon as possible.”

The advisory body to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in England and Wales published a statement on its website on Monday advising all LGPS funds that are not yet doing so to consider the impact on their investment portfolios in light of events in of Ukraine to consider.

Earlier this week, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) said the schemes are currently assessing the level of any direct or indirect holdings in its investment portfolios, taking action to comply with UK sanctions and considering whether to have exclusion policies in place and place.

The PLSA, which represents schemes that collectively provide retirement income to more than 30 million UK savers, said UK pension schemes will typically have extremely low levels of direct investment in Russia.

Make My Money Matter has set up a template on its website for retirees to ask schemes to reduce their exposure to Russia.

Tony Burdon, Managing Director of Make My Money Matter, said: “We urge all pension providers to divest their investments in Russia as soon as possible. In this way, the financial sector can demonstrate moral leadership and sound financial management, and help protect the savings of UK pensioners.”

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