UK Government proposes fund activism





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The UK Government has published a consultation paper encouraging pension (superannuation) fund intervention in companies in which they invest where this would be the interests of members. The paper expresses the Government's concern that many fund mangers believe that there is no need for them to consider intervention, even where this would be in the best interests of their client fund and its members.

Shareholder activism is becoming increasingly important in Australia because the volume of money in Superannuation is now so large that many funds now find themselves the major shareholders in companies. It would be irresponsible of them to abstain from voting. 

Back in the 80s when Superannuation took off there was considerable debate about whether Australian super funds should be actively involved in employment creation and industry building. The idea was defeated on the grounds that such aims might compromise fund returns. However shareholder activism gives unions a second chance. Evidence suggests that good governance and socially responsible investment can lead to above average and more sustainable returns.

Your Super will be following this topic with reference to Australian funds in future bulletins.

See also the article on the requirement for super funds to consider the impact of their investments on labour standards.

Did you know?
Did you know that the PSA’s General Secretary is a Trustee of First State Super (FSS). When was the last time you heard him report on what your retirement funds are being used for? 

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The Progressive PSA brings together rank and file trade union activists in the Public Service Association of New South Wales and the CPSU (SPSF Branch). 

We work for

  • improved and more equitable pay 
  • greater job security
  • a democratic and strong union