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PLSA comments on why gender pay gap matters to pension funds

04 April 2018

Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s article published in The Telegraph today (Wednesday) about her commitment to tackle the gender pay gap, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has commented on why this is also an important issue for pension funds and savers: 

Joe Dabrowski, Head of Governance and Investment, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said:

“The vast majority of pension schemes agree that the composition, stability, skills and engagement levels of a company’s workforce are an integral part of their long-term performance. As long-term investors with £2.2 trn of assets under management1 UK pension schemes are acutely interested in how the companies they invest in perform against these criteria. 

“It is important to remember that pension fund members are not just invested in companies through their pension saving - they are also workers in those businesses. So the workforce cultures they experience day-to-day are influenced by how pension funds steward their investments.

“As a matter of simple corporate governance, pension funds would expect the companies they invest in to comply with their basic legal requirements, and will look very sceptically on those that fail to do so. 

“Our analysis, and toolkit for workforce reporting, highlights the importance of these issues to pension funds. It also notes the importance of providing metrics alongside a narrative explanation that sets out how businesses’ employment practices relate to their long-term organisational strategy and purpose. 

“Our ‘Hidden Talent’ report into the FTSE100, produced with Lancaster University Management School, highlights many areas alongside gender reporting for improved disclosure.”

The PLSA has published a number of reports in the area of diversity including Hidden talent: what do companies’ annual reports tell us about their workers? An analysis of the FTSE 100 (published November 2017) and Understanding the worth of the workforce: a stewardship toolkit for pension funds (published July 2016).

-ENDS-

NOTES TO EDITORS

1 Investment Association, Asset Management in the UK 2016-17: The Investment Association Survey

ABOUT THE 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. Our members include over 1,300 pension schemes with 20 million members and £1 trillion in assets, and over 400 businesses. They make us 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.

PRESS CONTACTS

Kathryn Mortimer, Press Officer, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association
T: 020 7601 1748, M: 07901 007713, E: [email protected]

Eleanor Carric, PR Manager, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association
T: 020 7601 1718, M: 07825 171 446, E: [email protected]