Making an impact with pensions

At BeFrank we believe in a fair pension. We consciously aim for socially responsible investing (SRI) in all our lifecycles, by explicitly investing – or not investing – in certain companies. But how exactly does this work and what did we achieve with this approach in 2020? We explain below.

Sustainable choices in our lifecycles
At BeFrank you can invest in three different lifecycles: Passive, Active and Sustainable. We are consciously engaged in sustainable investment in all our lifecycles:

  • In the Passive Lifecycle, we exclude companies that in our opinion are not committed to a fair world. We exclude companies that do not fulfil the 10 UN Global Compact Principles, are active in the tobacco or controversial weapons sectors or have inadequately established governance in emerging countries.
  • In the Active Lifecycle, we go a step further. This is where we also guarantee ESG exclusions, and sustainability criteria play a role in finding investments that offer a good rate of return in the future.
  • The Sustainable Lifecycle, which, as the name implies, is our most sustainable lifecycle. Here we invest exclusively in companies, governments and organisations that have a positive impact on the world.

Putting pressure on companies through voting and engagement
Voting and engagement are terms you hear frequently in relation to investing. But what exactly do these terms mean? Voting is using your right to vote during a shareholder meeting. Engagement means addressing companies about their behaviour and/or activities. If necessary, our investment managers use these means to put pressure on companies. This has proved to be quite effective. Below are a few examples.

Remuneration for Bayer management linked to sustainability objectives
Northern Trust, one of the investment managers of our Passive Lifecycle, met with Bayer in order to encourage them to establish a sustainability committee. In addition, engagement ensured that remuneration for the Bayer management team is now 20% linked to sustainability objectives.

General Motors focuses on combating plastic waste
One of the objectives of Nationale Nederlanden Investment Partners, the investment manager of our Active Lifecycle, was to focus on decreasing plastic waste in 2020. They met with companies to help find practical solutions to this challenge. Positive outcomes of this effort is that General Motors is now taking part in the NextWave initiative to combat plastic waste in oceans. The company has also developed various circular activities. Such as, for example, returning tires for recycling and reuse.

Starbucks admonished regarding child labour allegations
Triodos, the investment manager of our Sustainable Lifecycle, admonished Starbucks about its child labour allegations. Based on several meetings, Starbucks implemented improvements aimed at detecting and preventing child labour.

Making an impact with pensions
BeFrank invests your pension capital in a sustainable manner to the greatest extent possible. You determine how much of an impact you want to make with your pension. Will you opt for a Passive, Active or Sustainable Lifecycle? The choice is yours. Your personal pension page shows you how your pension contributions are invested. You can also easily see the effect a different lifecycle will have on your expected pension. You can simply indicate your choice on your personal pension page.