Paint it green- and do it with a nudge!

Amanda Latham

Amanda Latham has made quite a stir since leaving the Pension Regulator for Barnett Waddingham. Now she’s got the Thunderer calling on the pension industry to green up the default funds which will one day pay us pensions.

Judging by the comments to the article, the Times readership were sceptical. To print just a few….

This is a frightening path towards socialist state control. Unless your a millionaire who has total control of your investments, the rest of us plebs future is in the hands of tree hugging ideology!

This really is for cranks. Doing so will damage returns and lead to worse investing decisions.

This article has been generated purely to create publicity for the pension company involved. Don’t take it seriously.

You crack on with fashionable investment themes. I bought Shell at £10 for a chunk of my pension last year. Now up 60% and yielding me a very sustainable 8% annual dividend and increasing.

Comments like these come from a certain type of reader and can’t be taken as respresentative of the country as a whole. Indeed, Barnett Waddingham’s research suggests that such opinions are marginal

Barnett Waddingham,, made the proposal after its poll of 1,200 pension scheme members found that only 9 per cent were against the idea. Forty-five per cent said that they were indifferent, 26 per cent were in favour as long as returns did not suffer and 20 per cent were in favour even if returns were slightly lower.

However, they show just how prickly the public can be if they feel someone’s pulling a fast one. The nudge, when it becomes apparant, can meet with stiff resistance, the trick is in appealing to the moral majority and staying out of harm’s way!

The default funds we are in are going green without a lot of noise. They have little alternative. The negative impact of getting left behind, the positive impact of reporting success through TCFD and the undoubted alignment of capital to investments with high ESG ratings makes the adoption of a responsible investement ethos, plain common sense.

Amanda is a strong and determined woman who will not be put off by the comments section of a Times article. It is great that the Times are promoting the importance of DC defaults in making our money matter and it is right that Barnett Waddingham get the right kind of publicity.

But the comments shouldn’t be ignored. We need to be very careful not to alienate those with savings and those aspiring to wealth. They do not want to feel coerced, even though they probably have been!




About henry tapper

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