Your future, your choiceToday, many Australians remain unaware of the choices they have when it comes to investing their super, including the opportunity to invest in industries and companies that work for the good of the planet, while also growing their retirement savings.
In recent months, Rest, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, engaged with its members to understand what kinds of investment options they wanted to make with their retirement savings. According to information obtained by Rest’s December 2020 member survey, their members revealed a strong interest in a sustainable investment (SRI) option.
The insights gathered from members helped Rest shape the new responsible investment option, including giving members a voice in selecting the name Sustainable Growth, as well as an active role in shaping the types of investments to be included, as well as excluded from this investment option.
“The creation of this new option was shaped for members, by members, and is a welcome addition to the range of investment options that Rest has to offer,” says Rest CEO, Vicki Doyle. “Companies and assets in Sustainable Growth have been carefully selected, we have not only removed companies that cause harm but have also included and tilted to those which make a positive contribution to the environment and society.”
With total estimated investment costs of 0.36 per cent, per annum for Rest members, Sustainable Growth will be one of the lowest-fee SRI options available in the market1. It is geared towards growth assets and will aim to deliver high returns over a period of 12 rolling years.
A personal best retirement looks different for all Australians. For some, their personal best outcome will be retiring with a specific balance or the best possible balance they can build, while for others it may be saving enough in their super account to pay off existing debts. Increasingly, however, we are hearing from our members that their personal best will be to retire with a super balance that has been invested in socially responsible and ethical assets. With many of Rest’s members still decades away from accessing their super, investing in a sustainable future is important to protecting their long-term savings.
Investing for the greater goodIn late 2015, as part of a global call to action on sustainability, the United Nations (UN) gathered governments from around the world to develop and endorse 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As part of Rest’s broader Sustainability and Responsible Investment approach, the fund prioritises their alignment to five of the UN SDGs – gender equality, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities and climate action. The release of the Sustainable Growth investment option further demonstrates Rest’s focus on a sustainable future, which includes a commitment to achieve a net zero carbon footprint for the fund by 2050.
“As a long-term global investor, we recognised that employers, businesses and leaders can play an important role in achieving these global goals. We identified the spaces where Rest could make the most relevant impact based on the members we serve and are committed to working with our employers and members to build a fairer and more sustainable future for all,” says Ms Doyle.
Rest believes responsible investment does add value, and the integration of environmental, social and governance factors into investment decisions should not jeopardise returns. Rather, an ethical approach to investing supports Rest’s mission to help its members achieve their personal best retirement outcome, while also contributing to a more sustainable future.
“There’s never been a better time to take control of your financial wellbeing, the wellbeing of your families and the broader community, particularly in the wake of a year that brought financial stress and uncertainty to many Australians”.
You can find out more about Rest’s Sustainable Development Goals here or to talk to an employer specialist email email@example.com
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