How responsible is your super?

The Responsible Investment Association of Australia (RIAA) has released its list of the 13 most ethical superannuation funds.

Consumer research conducted for the RIAA for its Super Fund Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2018 revealed that an overwhelming nine in 10 Australians expect their super or other investments to be invested responsibly and ethically.

Seven in 10 Australians would rather invest in a responsible super fund that considers the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues of the companies it invests in and maximises financial returns, rather than a super fund which considers only maximising financial returns.

Notably, four in five Australians would consider moving their superannuation or other investments to another provider if their current fund engages in activities not consistent with their values.

“If the superannuation industry is to realise its potential for fuelling a productive, prosperous, and healthy future for Australians, it needs to be one that embeds ESG considerations alongside traditional financial factors, avoids contributing to harmful activities and backs the building of tomorrow’s businesses, industries and communities,” the RIAA explained.

According to the RIAA’s report, 81 per cent of the largest super funds have now embedded a formal commitment to responsible investing (up from 70 per cent in 2016).

In 2016, the largest super funds offered 54 responsible investment options. That figure has now grown to 75, with 65 per cent of these options obtaining RIAA certification.

To rate the leading superannuation funds, the RIAA judges each fund on five pillars. These are:

  • Governance and accountability
  • Responsible investment commitment
  • Responsible investment implementation, measurement and outcomes
  • Transparency
  • Responsiveness

The report found 13 of the 53 funds they investigated demonstrated comprehensive responsible investment approaches across the five pillars.

The 13 leading responsible investment superannuation funds are:

Fund name

Fund category

Australian Ethical

Retail

AustralianSuper

Industry

Cbus

Industry

Christian Super

Industry

First State Super

Public/non-regulated

Future Fund

Public Sector

HESTA

Industry

Local Government Super

Public/non-regulated

Mercer Superannuation

Retail

NZ Super Fund

Public/non-regulated

Unisuper

Industry

VicSuper

Public/non-regulated

Vision Super

Public/non-regulated

Does your superannuation fund make the list? Would you consider changing your superannuation fund to a more ethical fund?

Related articles:
Super failing retirees: report
Making a universal pension work
Industry funds warn of super risk

Written by Ben

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