FairPensions' Research and Publications

Our research:

  • raises industry & public awareness of RI;
  • is a guide to best practice;
  • informs & empowers individual pension-holders;
  • fosters peer comparison & competition;
  • highlights where action is needed.

Latest publication:

The Stewardship Lottery: The Governance Gap in Contract-Based Pensions

Pension Fund Surveys | Pension Fund Recommendations | Fund Manager Surveys

FairPensions’ industry surveys examine and rank the Responsible Investment performance of the UK’s largest pension funds and fund managers. Year in, year out, FairPensions’ research keeps these powerful bodies accountable and under scrutiny. By systematically measuring and making public key indicators for progress on Responsible Investment, our reports have become a respected industry benchmark, as well as a powerful campaign tool.

Although there’s still a long way to go, our research shows significant annual improvement in investor transparency and action on Responsible Investment. We are confident that our research, case-making and advocacy work has helped to drive that progress.

1. Pension Fund Surveys


The Stewardship Lottery: The Governance Gap in Contract-Based Pensions (April 2012)

Full Report




UK Occupational Pension Schemes’ Responsible Investment Performance (April 2009)

Executive Summary | Full Report





UK Pension Scheme Transparency on Environmental, Social & Governance issues (December 2007)

Executive Summary | Full Report





UK Pension Scheme Transparency on Social, Environmental & Ethical issues (November 2006)

Executive Summary | Full Report

For Responsible Investment to be the norm, pension funds must put their money where their mouth is. Expressing a concern for social responsibility or the environment is one thing, but putting Responsible Investment principles into practice is another. This requires a documented and publicly disclosed strategy for engagement with investee companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, which includes quantifiable targets and demonstrable action. 

That’s why our pension fund surveys examine the existence and transparency of ESG policies and practices amongst the UK’s largest occupational pension funds. Surveying the largest 20 pension funds in 2006 and 2007, and expanding to 30 in 2009, our research shows investors are taking Responsible Investment more seriously and becoming more transparent over time. There’s a big gap between the leaders and laggards however, with the majority of pension schemes still falling short of best practice codes for accountability and disclosure.

For each of the top 30 UK occupational pension funds in our 2009 survey, FairPensions offered a specific set of recommendations for how Responsible Investment practices could be improved.

> View recommendations for your pension scheme

2. Fund Manager Surveys

Stewardship in the Spotlight


UK asset managers’ public disclosure practices on voting & engagement (December 2010)

Disclosure Ranking | Full Report | Submissions

Preparing for the Storm?  

UK Fund Managers and the Risks & Opportunities of Climate Change (October 2009)

Executive Summary | Full Report | Submissions

Investor Responsibility?  

UK Fund Managers’ Performance and Accountability on ‘Extra-Financial’ Risks (November 2008)

Executive Summary | Full Report

Investor Responsibility?  

Fund Manager Transparency and Engagement on Environmental, Social & Governance Issues (October 2007)

Executive Summary | Full Report

Most pension funds outsource management of their schemes to external fund managers. With a huge pool of capital at their disposal (in 2008 the UK’s top 30 fund managers managed assets worth US$22 trillion), it’s crucial that they, too, are committed to Responsible Investment.

Our reports on transparency and engagement amongst the UK’s leading fund managers reflect our pension fund findings: despite annual improvement, there’s an enormous disparity between individual asset managers’ performance. We’ve also found an emphasis on governance issues (e.g. company board structure and executive pay), rather than on social and environmental issues, and there is often little evidence that engagement has led to changes in corporate behaviour