Fife Council pension fund lost £2.4m over last three years

Fife Council’s pension fund lost £2.4 million over the last three years, leading to calls for it to stop investing in fossil fuels.

The fund, which administers pensions on behalf of Fife Council, is one of ten local government pension funds which new research reveals saw investments in oil companies collapse between April 2017 and November 2020.

MSP Mark Ruskell said: “Public pension funds invest millions in bankrolling oil companies, the arms industry and big tobacco every year. Not only are these investments unethical, but as this research shows they are actually losing pension funds substantial amounts of money.

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“I don’t believe that most people who have chosen a career in public service want to see their pension funds funnelling cash into these companies when this it could be invested in socially responsible endeavours.

“I urge the Fife Council pension fund to divest its stake in fossil fuels now and call on Fife Council to bring to bear its influence to make this happen.”

Fife Council’s head of finance Elaine Muir commented: “Our Superannuation and Pensions committee works to a set of investment principles. These are in place to ensure investment managers consider the social, environmental and ethical policies of companies in which they invest.

“We are committed to a balance between maximising investment income and ethical investment which is why we employ Hermes Equity Ownership Services (HEOS).

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“Their team help monitor our investments in companies and intervene where necessary with the aim of improving our long term corporate performance.

“We’ll continue to closely monitor our investments, making sure members of the pension scheme receive the best possible return while taking full account of our wider ethical responsibilities.”

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