A new tool that aims to help savers take a stand on pay has been launched by responsible investment charity ShareAction to coincide with Ownership Day. The organisation is calling on investors to use their votes to say ‘no’ to “excessive pay at the top and poverty pay at the bottom”.
Investors can enter their pension funds details into the tool and send an email calling for a “fairer deal on corporate pay”. The initiative is designed to make it easy for savers to voice their concerns to their pension fund.
Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction, said, “People in Britain fell passionately about pay justice but too few understand how their own pension savings can be used to tackle inequality and ensure a living wage for all.”
A poll commissioned to mark Ownership Day found that half of Brits want their pension fund to encourage companies to pay a living wage. In addition, 48% said ensuring that executive pay and bonuses are not excessive was important, demonstrating that this is an issue many members of the public support.
Simon Howard, chief executive of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), which co-ordinates Ownership Day, commented, “YouGov research for Ownership Day has shown that the public want pension funds to get active, and to use their influence to ensure companies are sustainable because of the strong economic case for doing so.
“ShareAction’s new tool gives adults with savings an easy way to engage with their pension funds simply and directly in this area and will help build support for active ownership.”
Over the last decade active ownership has become more mainstream as both retail and institutional investors recognise the benefits of considering a wide range of issues, from remuneration to environmental sustainability.