The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Taskforce on Social Factors is consulting with the pensions industry until 1 December 2023 on a guide entitled "Considering Social Factors in Pension Scheme Investments".

The guide includes 35 recommendations about how social factors could be better incorporated into trustee investment and stewardship decisions to try and help them manage social risks and opportunities.

What is the DWP's Taskforce on Social Factors?

Following the response to the DWP's consultation on social risks and opportunities , the Taskforce on Social Factors was formed in February 2023 with the aim of raising awareness of the “social” element in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. The Taskforce, led by the Minister for Pensions, is made up of a wide variety of industry practitioners including pension funds, asset managers and insurers with regulators and government departments as observers.

What is ESG Investing?

ESG investing is an investment approach that considers environmental, social, and governance factors in addition to financial factors when selecting investment. Further information can be found in our earlier blog "Pension Law and Social Responsibility in the UK: ESG Investing for Pensions".

The consultation

The Pensions Regulator has said that it expects the Taskforce's guide will be a welcome tool to help trustees form their approach to addressing social factors and it has encouraged engagement with the consultation to help shape the final version.

The consultation is open until 1 December 2023 and you can respond by emailing: consultation@taskforceonsocialfactors.co.uk

If you have any queries about anything raised in this blog, please get in touch with a member of the pensions team.

Contributors

Juliet Bayne

Partner

Jennifer Crawford

Senior Associate

Sarah Keir

Trainee Solicitor