Only one in eight people have asked where their pension is invested, a survey has found.
Some 12.6% of people said they had asked where the money was going, according to research to mark Good Money Week (October 5 to 11), a campaign to raise awareness of ethical finance.
More than half (56.9%) of the 2,000 people surveyed across the UK said they are unlikely to ask their boss how ethically or sustainably their pension is invested, even though 47.1% do want their pension to marry up with their values.
When asked about their general spending, 46% of people said their habits have become much more ethically conscious in the past 12 months.
Charlene Cranny, campaigns director, Good Money Week, said: “For most of us – particularly since the introduction of workplace auto-enrolment – pensions are our largest savings pot.
“However, Good Money Week’s findings show that we are not considering where all of this money is going and what impact it is having on people and the environment.
“We need to ensure that our pension savings are used in ways that match up with our everyday values.
“That change can start with one simple question your boss or HR Manager: ‘Where is my pension being invested?’ followed by: ‘Can it be more sustainable?’
“Conversations like these are important and shouldn’t feel awkward.
“Even if you don’t know much about your pension asking the question means your company will know these things matter to their employees, and that they need to consider them too when choosing or speaking with the workplace scheme provider.”
Gregg McClymont, director of policy at the People’s Pension, said: “Savers live increasingly busy lives, and don’t have the time or the ambition to become investment experts.
“A good pensions system goes with the grain of this reality. With engagement levels so low, good outcomes will depend on well-run pension schemes that put their members’ interests first at all times.
“We ask our members their views on ethical and responsible investment issues, which we take into consideration when planning our investments.”
Lorna Blyth, head of investment solutions at Royal London, said: “People don’t naturally connect their savings with the ability to make a social or environmental impact.
“However, if we help customers understand that they can, we could see increased engagement levels especially among younger savers.”