Occupational Pension Funds (IORPs) & Sustainability: What does the Prudent Person Principle say?
AbstractThe European Union encourages individuals to save in private and occupational pension funds to complement their state saving-plans. Throughout their lives, employers directly sponsor occupational retirement saving plans, so individual employees may top up their future pensions. While the European Union clearly supports the formation and cross-border participation in these financial vehicles by adopting EU regulatory framework, the EU has also decided to determine a common investment decision standard to be used in all Member States, called the Prudent Person Principle. According to this principle, the fund - the future retirement for many - shall be managed with care, the skill of an expert, prudence and due diligence. Under this principle, the pension fund’s governing body is given a broad authority to invest the pension assets in a prudent fashion in light of the particular investment plan of a fund. At the same time, the EU is also moving towards more Responsible Investment and inclusion of the ESG-principles (Environment, Social and Governance). The question we aim to answer in this paper is how these two principles co-exist and whether, due to the new Directive adopted by the occupational pension funds in 2016, all funds are obliged to make only responsible, environmentally and socially beneficial investments.
Copyright (c) 2017 Alexandra Horváthová, Rasmus Kristian Feldthusen, Vibe Garf Ulfbeck
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