Q: Are these the only complicit companies my pension fund invests in?
A: The companies highlighted on this website are those where there is research and data to demonstrate their complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights. In order to ensure our pension funds adhere to basic principles of ethical investment we would encourage you to look at the companies that we have identified in each fund and focus on them.
Q: The Pension Fund manager claims that fiduciary duty requires them to maximise returns and ignore ethical considerations. Is this the case?
A: No, this is a misinterpretation of the law. Pension fund trustees have a fiduciary duty to invest “in the best interests of members and beneficiaries” but the phrase ‘duty to maximise return’ is absent from any UK statute or case law. Pension trustees have discretionary powers; provided they have taken advice and are able to explain and justify their decision-making process, they can make decisions based on ethical and human rights considerations (Martin v City of Edinburgh, 1995).
Q: So who makes the decisions about how my local authority pension invests its funds?
A: The Pension Fund Committee has overall responsibility to administer and manage your pension fund on behalf of the administering Council. The Committee, whose members are elected Councillors, is responsible for appointing and instructing fund managers to ensure investments are made according to fund ethical and socially responsible investment policies.
Q: How can I make sure my pension no longer invests in complicit companies?
A: There are several steps to ensuring your pension fund divests from companies found to be complicit in Israel’s illegal occupation.
- Write a letter to your Councillors HERE – members of local authority pension funds have an interest in how their money is being invested and so do Council Tax payers – a portion of council tax income is applied as contributions to pension funds.
- Raise the issue at your union branch and discuss with other members. UNISON, GMB and Unite all have representatives on your Pension Fund Board, whose responsibility is to assist the Pension Committee with compliance and ensure it takes into account interests of stakeholders.
- Raise the issue with your employer. Representatives of the largest employers on the scheme also sit on the Pension Fund Board. If your employer does not have a place on the Pension Board, you can ask that they raise the matter directly with the Pensions Committee and at the next pension fund AGM.
- Help us to maximise letters to Councillors – get in touch HERE.