Pension Bee talks, LGIM listens

The Guardian announces this morning that Pension Bee’s campaign to get access to an LGIM fund that divests from companies profiting from fossil fuels.

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Getting the mighty LGIM. Britain’s biggest fund manager, to respond to customer pressure is no mean feat for Pension Bee, a firm that was – till recently – considered a start-up.

I’m interested in how LGIM are positioning itself in this, it shows a responsiveness to customer needs – where the customers are private individuals saving for their futures with an independent provider – good for LGIM

Veronica Humble, who’s in charge of LGIM’s pension saving strategy had this to say this morning

“Our investment philosophy is not divestment, but active ownership and engagement across all funds, and ESG tilting across our Future World range. However, we do see clear demand for more innovative exclusionary funds as well”.

Pension Bee wrote to LGIM last year after being inundated with questions from its own customers about the fact that Shell was among the top 10 holdings in one of the investment firm’s ethically focused Future World funds. PensionBee is  one of the fund’s top five owners, with more than £60m invested.

The move should give encouragement to earlier stage start-ups such as Tumelo and AgeWage , who are equally committed to changing things from the bottom up.

We can take heart in Pension Bee’s words – reported in the Guardian

“We hope this is just the start of all savers using their investments to transform the world they live in – for the better of the planet, society and their retirement.”

The full announcement from Pension Bee follows

`Leading online pension provider, PensionBee has confirmed plans to launch a fossil fuel free fund in partnership with Legal & General. 

The new fossil fuel free plan will launch later this year and follows a survey conducted by PensionBee which showed that over a third (34%) of customers in their responsible ‘Future World’ plan think that the time for engagement with oil companies is over. They want to completely exclude oil from their pensions, even if that means a potential reduction in the profitability of their pension, although many are convinced that oil production is a dying and long-term unprofitable business.

The decision to launch a fossil fuel free fund follows a public letter written to Legal & General from PensionBee’s Chief Executive, Romi Savova, last year, questioning the ongoing inclusion of Shell in their climate-conscious Future World fund.

The survey results show a growing divide between those who want to continue to engage with oil companies and those who no longer believe in the effectiveness of that engagement; oil production is actually increasing and proposed offsetting measures impossible to monitor. There is also a view that these stocks will become stranded assets.

Whilst PensionBee continues to advocate for the ‘engagement with consequences’ approach of its ‘Future World’ fund, it is clear that there is increasingly strong demand for pension products that give customers the choice to divest from oil.

PensionBee’s fossil fuel free plan will launch later this year in partnership with Legal & General. Those who wish to be kept updated with its development can join a waitlist here.



About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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