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Hymans Robertson is founding signatory of A4S’ Sustainability Principles Charter for the bulk annuity process

30 Jan 2024

Hymans Robertson, the leading pensions and financial services consultancy, is proud to announce that it is a founding signatory of the new Sustainability Principles Charter for the bulk annuity process. It was developed in partnership by Accounting for Sustainability (A4S), The Church of England Pensions Board and Railpen.

The Charter sets out four clear principles to better align expectations around sustainability before, during and after a buy-out or buy-in transaction, between pension funds, insurers and advisers. The principles are transparency of sustainability values; decision-making that is evidenced and linked to sustainability values; reporting and engagement beyond the point of transaction; and collaboration across the sector as responsible investment best practice evolves.

Commenting on the announcement, Paul Hewitson, Head of ESG for Risk Transfer, Hymans Robertson, says:

“We are a purpose-led firm and are pleased to have helped develop these principles. Being one of the founding signatories of the Charter gives us the opportunity to help drive best practice in the industry. Our signature also signifies our commitment to seeing that responsible investment and sustainability principles become more widely understood and ingrained in the everyday operations of the sector.

“As more pension schemes reach the point where buy-out is affordable, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations are becoming increasingly important in trustees’ selection criteria, when picking which insurer to transact with. This charter helps set expectations of the minimum requirements on sustainability, while also pushing insurers to do more, with clear examples of how they can differentiate themselves in a busy insurance market.”

Commenting on the future impact of the Charter, James Mullins, Head of Risk Transfer, Hymans Robertson says:

“Over £50bn is expected to transfer to insurance companies every year for the foreseeable future. If that huge amount of money is invested wisely and following solid sustainability principles, then it will have a great benefit to our society. We are passionate to partner with others to make sure that this is the case and this Charter is an important step in continuing to put pressure on insurance companies and others in the buy-in market to have high regard for sustainability and ESG principles. We are grateful to Accounting for Sustainability (A4S), The Church of England Pension Board and Railpen for being the driving force behind this excellent Charter.” 

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