UK Taskforce on Social Factors

The Taskforce for Social Factors has released a guide for consultation with the UK pensions industry, which includes more than 30 recommendations about how social factors can be better incorporated into investment decisions. 

The taskforce is asking for feedback from the industry by Friday December 1st

Have your say on the guide by emailing:

View guide
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UK Taskforce on Social Factors

Following the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) consultation on consideration of social risks and opportunities by occupational pension schemes, the Taskforce on Social Factors was established in the UK in February 2023. The Taskforce aims to raise awareness and develop a common understanding of social risks and opportunities which can be addressed by pensions scheme trustees, industry and policymakers.  

The taskforce, made up of a wide variety of industry practitioners from pension funds, asset managers, insurers, relevant non-government organisations, and a range of regulators and government departments as observers, has produced a draft report to provide guidance to help pension trustees incorporate social factors into their investment and stewardship decision making and thus to help them manage financially material social risks and opportunities.  

The proposals within the report represent the views of the Taskforce and not the DWP.  

This is now the opportunity for the industry to ‘have your say’ on the guidance, frameworks and recommendations outlined in the report. It is the Taskforce’s aim to ensure that the final output is useful and actionable for the UK pension trustees and helps schemes make a step change in integrating social factor considerations into their work. The Taskforce is therefore seeking views on the current draft of the report and proposals on any useful additions to be taken into account in the final paper 

The consultation focusses on the perspective of UK pension funds and will be most relevant to pension industry participants in the UK, while also bearing relevance to asset owners from other jurisdictions to some degree. In addition to hearing from UK pension funds, the Taskforce invites views from the following:  

  • Asset managers 

  • Data providers and proxy voting agencies 

  • Investment Consultants 

  • Lawyers 

  • Civil society/non-governmental organisations 

  • Industry groups and trade bodies 

  • Public and private businesses 

  • Government departments and regulators 

The taskforce would like to hear views on the following questions in regard to the draft report:  

  1. Do you agree the report will be helpful for pension scheme trustees to better understand social issues and the impetus to act on them?  
  2. For scheme trustees, does this report adequately address and provide a way forward for your scheme circumstances?  
  3. Do you see the proposed systematic materiality assessment framework for social factors as something you can practically implement in your portfolio?  
  4. Do you believe the three-level framework for addressing social factors in pension portfolios provides useful developmental guidance?  
  5. Do you agree with the resulting recommendations for the pensions ecosystem?  
  6. Do you find the information in appendices practical and informative?  
  7. Is there anything else that you would like to see covered?  

In early December, the Taskforce will also be running a number of face to face roundtables to discuss the draft and would welcome the input from industry. To express your interest in attending a roundtable or if you want to participate in the consultation on the guide (which closes on Friday, December 1 2023), please email us at:


Members of the taskforce
Luba Nikulina (chair), IFM Investors
James Alexander, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association  
Stephen Barrie,  Church of England Pension Board  
Joe Dabrowski, PLSA  
Caroline Escott, RailPen  
Hilkka Komulainen, Aegon  
Abigail Hall, Scottish Widows 
Ben Howarth, Association of British Insurers  
Rachel Howarth, ShareAction  
Daniel Jarman, Pension Protection Fund  
Bella Landymore, Impact Investing Institute  
Paul Lee,  Investment Consultants Sustainability Working Group  
Doug McMurdo, Local Authority Pension Fund Forum  
Maria Nazarova-Doyle, IFM Investors  
Valeria Piani, Phoenix Group  
Sarah Wilson, Minerva Analytics  
Government department and regulator observers 
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy  
Department for Culture, Media and Sport  
Department for Work and Pensions (Secretariat)  
Financial Conduct Authority  
Financial Reporting Council  
Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office  
HM Treasury
The Pensions Regulator  
Name Company
Rob Yuille Association of British Insurers
Maria Busca Association of British Insurers
Vera Apedo AON
Clare Richards Church of England Pensions Board
Amanda Latham IFM Investors
Sapna Patel Lane, Clark & Peacock
Paul Hunter Local Authority Pension Fund Forum
Fergus Moffatt ShareAction
Mary-Alice Thornhill ShareAction
Shayne Halfpenny-Ray The Phoenix Group
Elena Espinoza The Phoenix Group
Oscar Warwick Thompson UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association
Heidi Douglas-Osborn UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association
Abigail Hall  Scottish Widows
Bella Landymore Impact Investing Institute
Michael Jones Eversheds Sutherland