(27 January 2020, Trowbridge), Wiltshire Pension Fund today announced that it has transitioned funds previously held in UK, global and fundamental passive equities into the low carbon passive equity portfolio managed by Brunel Pension Partnership – its discretionary investment manager as part of the LGPS pooling initiative.

 

The assets transitioned represent approximately 20% of the fund’s total assets, which currently stand at a total of approximately £2.7 billion.

 

The transition has taken place following a review of the pension fund’s strategic asset allocation, led by Wiltshire’s Pension Committee. The review was undertaken to ensure that the fund is well set to achieve investment returns that meet all future liabilities and pay the pensions of its beneficiaries. As part of this the Pension Committee recognised that as long term investors it needs to take all risks into account and that includes managing climate change risk alongside good governance. 

 

More broadly, in February 2019, at a meeting of full council, Wiltshire Council acknowledged that there is a climate emergency, and seeks to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030.  Wiltshire Council's cabinet pledged that the council itself will also be carbon neutral by the same year.

 

Pension Committee Chairman, Councillor Tony Deane said:

“Climate change is an increasingly material issue for investors and we believe that investing to support the Paris goals is entirely consistent with securing long-term financial returns and is aligned with the best long-term interests of Wiltshire’s beneficiaries. We also want to invest in a world worth living in, and investing in low carbon passive equities through our pool operators at Brunel gives us an ideal, cost-effective solution. It also helps us benefit from the wider expertise of our Pool. As the world steps up to meet the global climate emergency its vital that investors like us play their part.”

 

The allocation was transitioned in December, however the statement is being made today as part of Wiltshire’s support for Brunel’s new Climate Policy, also being launched today.  Wiltshire is also working with Brunel to carry out a carbon footprint analysis of its portfolios, to measure progress over time and work towards aligning its portfolio with a pathway that keeps global warming below 2°C.  Ends

 

Notes to editor

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About Wiltshire Pension Fund

Wiltshire Pension Fund is part of the national Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). Under the LGPS Regulations Wiltshire Council is the Administering Authority for the Wiltshire Pension Fund. As of 1 April 2018, Wiltshire Pension Fund's invested assets began to be pooled with nine other Funds as part of the Brunel Pension Partnership. The objective of pooling the assets is to achieve savings over the longer term from both lower investment management costs and more effective management of the invested assets. Further information on the Brunel Pension Partnership can be found on their website