UK – The National Association of Pension Funds has published a guide on voting to help pension fund trustees “pull their weight” with UK firms.

It said its new ‘Voting made simple’ guide explains how trustees can exercise their rights, as beneficial owners, to vote at company meetings. It would help pension funds “pull their weight in British business”.

“Pension funds are the owners of nearly one fifth of British business, and exercising their rights allows them to express their support for, and occasional disapproval of, the way a company is being run,” the NAPF said.

The guide explains how trustees can make sure their votes do not get “lost”.

“This new guide spells out to pension funds the simple and elegant solution to the problem of getting investment managers to vote on their behalf without getting drowned in data,” said NAPF corporate governance advisor Geoff Lindey.

“This guidance sets out practical steps that will help trustees ensure that their voting rights are exercised and that they discharge their responsibilities as the beneficial owners of company shares,” said Paul Myners, author of reports on institutional investing and voting, in the foreword.

Meanwhile, the Pensions Advisory Service and the Association of Pension Lawyers have joined forces to launch a pilot mediation scheme.

It will be run by the advisory service with lawyers providing their services free of charge.