The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has written to the Chair of every FTSE350 company asking them to share fuller information with investors about the culture and working practices of their workforce.
In a letter, supported by the Pensions Minister, Richard Harrington MP, Newton Investment Management and USS Investment Management Limited, the PLSA highlights how the management and engagement of the workforce can have a material effect on a company's performance over the long-term.
Joanne Segars, Chief Executive, PLSA, said:
"It’s essential that pension funds know more about how the companies, in which they invest, manage and engage their employees. We know that engaged workers make for stronger companies and stronger companies make for better investment returns – creating an economy that works for everyone.
“So that’s why we’re calling on companies to make more information about their workforces available to pension funds and other investors. After all, many companies tell us that their workforce is their strongest asset."
Previous research cited by the PLSA has highlighted the limited detail that UK companies currently provide about their workforce. Fewer than half of FTSE 100 companies detail their level of staff turnover in their annual report, while only 11 per cent break down their total staff by full-time, part-time or temporary employment status.
Pensions Minister, Richard Harrington MP, commented:
“The status of a firm’s workforce can be a key issue for investors. So a toolkit that helps businesses give important investors such as pension schemes the data they need about their workforce is a good thing and I welcome this positive step by the PLSA.”
Ian Burger, Head of Corporate Governance, Newton Investment Management, added:
"As active global investors, we believe constructive and positive labour relations are critical to a company’s long-term success. We welcome the PLSA’s guide to help improve engagement on these issues, and are confident it can help develop an effective dialogue and actions that benefit all stakeholders.”
Elizabeth Fernando, Head of Equities, USS Investment Management, said:
"A company’s workforce is a key driver of its long-term performance and productivity, so good information on corporate culture and working practices is valuable to us as long-term investors. We hope the PLSA’s toolkit will enable pension funds to engage on these issues in a way that benefits investors, companies and workers alike.”
The PLSA toolkit, ‘Understanding the worth of the workforce’, was published in July and outlines the type of information about workforce-related issues that pension fund investors should request from the companies in which they invest, and how this information could be most helpfully presented to investors. The toolkit:
· identifies the key performance metrics for assessing potential risks and opportunities facing companies as a result of the composition, stability, capacity and engagement levels of its workforce; and,
· recommends ways in which investors can encourage better reporting through private engagement and voting at company AGMs.
 Based upon Bloomberg analysis, February 2015
NOTES TO EDITORS:
PENSIONS AND LIFETIME SAVINGS ASSOCIATION
We’re the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, the national association with a ninety-year history of helping pension professionals run better pension schemes. With the support of over 1,300 pension schemes and over 400 supporting businesses, we are the voice for pensions and lifetime savings in Westminster, Whitehall and Brussels.
Our purpose is simple: to help everyone to achieve a better income in retirement. We work to get more money into retirement savings, to get more value out of those savings and to build the confidence and understanding of savers.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH
PLSA commissioned ComRes to conduct a consumer poll of 18-35 year olds. ComRes interviewed 962 British adults aged between 18-35 online between 25th July and 9th of August 2016. Data were weighted by region to be representative of all British adults; by gender, age and socio-economic grade to be representative of all British adults aged 18-35. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
 PLSA research on 18 – 35 year olds’ attitudes to saving – August 2016
 The Yorkshire Building Society - - March 2016
 The Telegraph - Class of 2016 feels the pinch as graduate jobs fall off – 31.05.16