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Growing Number of UK DC Pensions Schemes Incorporate ESG

The number of FTSE 350 defined contribution (DC) schemes incorporating ESG factors into their default investment funds has increased by half since last year, according to a study by investment consultants Willis Towers Watson (WTW). WTW’s Defined Contribution and Savings Survey 2022 noted that 43% of DC schemes have now adopted ESG investing factors into their defaults, an increase from 30% in 2021 and 17% in 2020. The study has estimated that the number of DC schemes planning to incorporate ESG into their defaults in the next two years will increase to 56%. Two-thirds of master trust pension funds have incorporated ESG factors into their default funds, with WTW highlighting that number is due to increase to 80% within the next two years. Gemma Burrows, WTW’s Retirement Business Director, said: “ESG continues to gain significant focus across all DC scheme types, and within two years it is expected that more than half of schemes will have taken the step of integrating ESG into the default strategy.”  

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