Unions call for greater pension fund manager responsibility

Unions are making calls for the government to push pension scheme fund managers to be more responsible with investment.

A statement signed by the TUC, MPs and some members of the pension industry demands clauses be written into investment principles to prevent further damage to the economy.

Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, criticised large pension providers for their contribution to the financial crisis.

“We have seen damage done to the financial system by the unchecked use of complicated products and practices like derivatives and short-selling,” said Barber.

“There has been a huge human cost, too, with job losses and millions of people seeing the value of their pension funds plummet.”

Terry Rooney, chair of the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, said the cost was borne by the everyday employee.

“Hard-working people saving for their retirement want to know that their pension funds are being invested responsibly and for the long term,” he said.

“People are worried about their jobs and pensions, but their savings can actually have a huge influence. The steps set out in this statement can work in the interest of savers, workers and companies themselves.”

The full list of signatures can be found here.

[Edited on 21 Jan 2009 at 15:52pm. Significant elements of this story were revised]

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