UK – The umbrella body for unions in the UK, the Trades Union Congress, has called for greater voting transparency.
The TUC said it has found “distinct differences” between fund managers' voting patterns and policies. “The TUC argues that this variation is a strong argument for this information being public as pension fund trustees should be aware of it when appointing managers.”
The TUC surveyed 50 controversial voting decisions in company annual general meetings for its annual fund manager survey.
General secretary Brendan Barber said: "The veil of secrecy around how the pension investments of millions of employees are used is slowly being lifted. More and more fund managers are taking the lead and publishing their voting records and policies because they see openness as an opportunity, not a threat.”
"Pension fund trustees understand that well-governed companies that engage with investors will perform better in the long term. And they are eager to play more of a part in this process by building their relationships with fund managers. I am sure the survey will continue to be a useful tool for trustees."
Barber added that people were “paralysed by choice” when it comes to making pensions decisions. He called for a “three-way partnership” between government, employers and employees.
He said: “Employees cannot take all the strain on their own. They see employers in retreat. They face huge demands on their earnings already as property prices soar and student debts grow.”