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State-backed pension scheme Nest will divert nearly half of workers’ cash into green investment strategy

August 3, 2020

By Paul Homewood



State-backed pension provider Nest is to plough £5.5billion, nearly half of its 9million members’ money, into a climate-friendly investment strategy.

Nest’s goal is to halve carbon emissions generated by its investments by 2030 and reach ‘net zero’ by 2050.

It will also ditch companies involved in thermal coal, oil sands and Arctic drilling within five years, unless they plan to phase out such activity.

‘No-one wants to save throughout their life to retire into a world devastated by climate change,’ says Mark Fawcett, chief investment officer of Nest.

Nest recently backed the Make My Money Matter campaign, launched by celebrity film director Richard Curtis and ex-Bank of England governor Mark Carney, which is urging pension funds to invest the £3trillion in UK retirement pots to take on climate change.

Carney has previously warned pensions funds and other businesses risk seeing assets become ‘worthless’ unless they wake up to the climate crisis.

Nest was set up by the Government for workers and employers when it launched pension auto enrolment in 2012, and it currently looks after the retirement funds of one quarter of the UK’s working population.


This is really a quite appalling misuse of pension savings money.. It is the prime function of any pension scheme trustee to maximise returns for members, not to play green virtue signalling.

As for the comment “‘No-one wants to save throughout their life to retire into a world devastated by climate change”, does this idiot actually believe that what NEST, or even the UK as a whole, does will make the slightest difference to UK weather?

Nest, or the National Employment Savings Trust, was set up in late 2012 alongside the Government’s auto-enrolment initiative which forces all employers to set up workplace pension schemes.

This was because a state-funded provider was needed for employers which either couldn’t or didn’t want to contract out their pension business to a big insurer or set up a trustee-run scheme of their own.

Unlike public sector workers who get guaranteed salary related pensions, NEST’s savers’ pensions depend on the value of their pension pot at retirement. I suspect many will be unimpressed if their pensions are lower as a result of this decision.

  1. spetzer86 permalink
    August 3, 2020 2:59 pm

    No Nest is investing people’s retirement money into a Green scheme that, obviously, relies on government money. So this’ll work out great, especially for the higher-ups at Nest (likely relatives of MPs?), until the government money runs out. Now, where does the government get money? Oh, from the general population! But in this situation, more people are outside Nest than in. So, that should be OK until the people outside catch on. But they’re screened from direct knowledge of the linkage by the government, who’s likely at least somewhat on the take from Nest.

    Classic Leftist scheme for how to get your taxes into their pockets.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    August 3, 2020 3:10 pm

    “No-one wants to save throughout their life to retire into a world devastated by climate change”. All of us are already suffering from the rapid reduction in fossil fuel emissions created by the coronavirus lockdown. Continuing to demand these rapid lower emissions going forward will necessarily have the same social and economic results…only larger. Assets becoming worthless?

    • Sunface permalink
      August 7, 2020 10:24 am

      You should have another tipple.

  3. jack broughton permalink
    August 3, 2020 3:34 pm

    As Spetzer says, the man-in-the-street will be fooled by the complexity of pension funds: (I still am certainly). So, they will get a way with it for a long time.

    This is similar to the money being wasted on windmills and solar power that people repeatedly are told is beneficial and good value for money. When the problems arrive in the near future, the covering of rear-ends will be magnificent, but tragic. This money could have been invested in useful projects!

  4. Curious George permalink
    August 3, 2020 3:41 pm

    I love the auto-enrollment trick.

  5. Peter Murray permalink
    August 3, 2020 3:57 pm

    The delusional concepts and mass hysteria of the green lobby continues virtually unopposed.

    • Broadlands permalink
      August 3, 2020 4:36 pm

      It has been repeatedly asked here what can be done about this increasing green climate hysteria. The inertia created by one after another catastrophic climate model forecast has become so great, so widely accepted, that there is little hope in changing it. Too much has been invested and too many political and scientific reputations are at risk. The science is settled?

  6. dearieme permalink
    August 3, 2020 4:13 pm

    A rather brilliant double-whammy of corruption and deceit.

    Take heart: a government will be along any moment to tell you to save with them for your long term care in old age.

  7. alexei permalink
    August 3, 2020 5:35 pm

    Someone should be investigating why Mark Carney, ex-governor of Bank of England and in theory the very embodiment of a capitalist, is such an enthusiastic supporter of green investments, or indeed the whole climate scare issue.

    • bobn permalink
      August 3, 2020 11:09 pm

      Carney is a socialist. BoE is State owned and is the embodiment of Sate control of the economy. BoE is a socialist construct. In capitalism currency (IoUs) would be issued by private Banks.

      • M E permalink
        August 3, 2020 11:37 pm

        Bank of England founded 1694

    • martinbrumby permalink
      August 3, 2020 11:10 pm

      Could the fact that his missus is a hardline GangGreen activist have something to do with it?

      That old sofa in the attic isn’t comfortable.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      August 4, 2020 8:39 am

      Quite why intelligent, sensible people have wholeheartedly embraced this is beyond me. In the end perhaps either you are sceptical about everything (as I am) or you end up believing one or more of the 100s of claims activists push about 100s of things.

    • August 4, 2020 9:31 am

      Carney is a Goldman Sachs placeman. Any more questions?

  8. markl permalink
    August 3, 2020 5:55 pm

    The people will eventually see that the “investment” is nothing more than a scheme to divert their retirement money into a fund that results in increasing their energy costs and taxes while reducing their energy availability. Of course the fund will seem promising at first but when the subsidies dry up they’ll be in for a rude awakening.

    • August 4, 2020 10:44 pm

      ‘Green investment’ is an oxymoron.

  9. johnbillscott permalink
    August 3, 2020 8:14 pm

    I guess being a Woke virtue signaling idiot is more important than being awake to the dangers a half witted scheme such as this – another South Sea Bubble or Tulip Mania in the making.

    What happened to fiduciary responsibility and prudence. I would bet Carney and his ilk are not putting their money into such a scheme, they never walk the talk, but, like all Liberals and Socialists they are quite free and easy with other peoples money.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      August 4, 2020 12:28 am


      I am not sure about Tulip Mania which was pure speculation, but the South Sea Bubble is a very accurate comparison. It was set up by the government of the day and never made money from its supposed main business. Instead it was captured by a inner circle of “entrepreneurs” who announced they would take over government debt and generate enormous profits from the trade (to Spanish south america, then largely unknown to the general public). It is doubtful how many of the public believed them but saw a chance of riches from buying into the scheme. Most lost money.
      There were a few sceptics** but a wave of enthusiasm drove the bubble up. After the collapse it came out that many politicians had received huge bribes and that those in the inner circle had benefitted. The government had to rescue the Company and it lasted as moribund for over 100 years until wound up. The last of the government bonds issued were only paid out recently (2010 I think).

      **including the Duchess of Marlborough who declared that 2+2 never made 5. She got out early with a profit. So did Guy who founded the hospital from his profits.

      I think that this scheme will result in nothing more than the involuntary “investors” losing money and the government having to bail it out.

      • dave permalink
        August 4, 2020 8:19 am

        Sir Isaac Newton was an early speculator in the South Sea Bubble, and sold out with a profit. He then got greedy and bought back in at the top. He lost his shirt. He was a minor insider in the British State apparatus, for he had been Master of the Mint for thirty years.

        If anybody says to you, “I know Calculus and I have a scheme to beat the Stock Market”…run away!

  10. Jackington permalink
    August 3, 2020 8:25 pm

    What’s the answer? vote labour? I don’t think so. Where is Nigel Farage when you need him?

    • dave permalink
      August 4, 2020 9:48 am

      “Where is Nigel Farage when you need him?”

      A realist, he has probably given up. Given up all hope of changing the now well-established British tradition of binge-drinking collectivist kool-aid.

      Support for the Brexit Party was a very temporary moment when some of the sheeple briefly glimpsed the skull beneath the face. Now that a sort of Brexit has happened, they have again lost sight of the big picture.

      Robust common sense in Society? Perish the thought!

      This is interesting:

      It is always sobering to see whence comes, “What Everyone Knows.”
      In this case, from the shadows! It is a higgledy-piggledy compilation of official sources.
      One can actually click-through to the sources; and then realize how inconsistent different countries have been.

      Still better than the MSM, but, Goodness! how easy it would be for a malign influence to take it over.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      August 7, 2020 1:29 pm

      Whatever the question is, or was, Farage isn’t the answer.
      He had a chance of contributing to the direction of Brexit, he ran away, abandoning UKIP to the BNP Grunters.
      He then came back with his commercial venture & royally shafted a lot of his prospective candidates for MPs & those who donated to his retirement fund, in the same way he’s shafted anybody else, who’s been involved with him over the years.

  11. Mewswithaview permalink
    August 3, 2020 10:27 pm

    Why does this remind me of catch 22

  12. roger permalink
    August 3, 2020 10:32 pm

    I wonder what the FSA have to say about this criminal misappropriation of peoples pension savings?

    • Gamecock permalink
      August 7, 2020 12:47 pm

      Indeed. This is a criminal action.

  13. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    August 4, 2020 4:53 am

    Now retired but years ago we were given the opportunity to get out of the Washington State retirement plan; a defined-benefit plan run by the State. We were permitted to transfer into a defined-contribution plan with restrictions until separation from state employment (a university). Then a “roll-over” into an individual retirement account is allowed – still tax deferred.
    We learned of this in the evening and were in the proper office the next day signing the papers.

    If I were invested with NEST, and allowed, my savings would be transferred in the morning to a place that understands fiduciary duty.

  14. Phoenix44 permalink
    August 4, 2020 8:35 am

    I would mount a legal challenge to this is if I had money in it. It’s not up to the CIO to pontificate about what the world might look like in 50 years time. His job is to maximise returns, nothing more. It would be interesting to look at the investment rules for the scheme.

    • David Albert permalink
      August 5, 2020 3:31 am

      This fund manager not only does not know truth about the climate scam that will eventually surface but has no appreciation for initiatives coming in real energy production. If only one of several promising projects works out no one will want any wind mills or solar farms. What will happen to this fund then?

  15. dave permalink
    August 4, 2020 10:49 am


    “La Nina – 2020” looked to be failing; but the situation off the West Coast of South America is pretty definite, at present:

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      August 5, 2020 8:46 am

      What always strikes me about the excess heat in the Arctic in these charts is how “trapped” much of the water is compared with much of the rest of the globe.

  16. ianprsy permalink
    August 4, 2020 12:54 pm

    An example of “all you need is somebody else’s money”. I thought Andy Street did a great job running John Lewis, As a politician, not so good:

    “There is one key ingredient missing however – a gigafactory. We can research the best battery technology, and build the best electric cars to be powered by this technology, but we have to import the actual batteries themselves. Given the fragility of supply networks halfway across the globe, and the polluting effect of importing these batteries, this is not a long-term solution for a UK automotive industry that wants to be a global leader.”

    Let’s have the polluting effect of importing the components and then the energy cost of processing them instead?

  17. JBW permalink
    August 4, 2020 1:26 pm

    There are some independent alternatives to the NEST fund. How many companies would want the hassle of transferring their employees to the alternative would be hard to gauge – but not many I would suggest. There were many question raised when the government brought in the new pension scheme and then set up the NEST fund. Now we know the answers to those questions.

    • Ian Wilson permalink
      August 5, 2020 10:01 am

      This is appalling for pensions to be squandered like this. I have protested to the Pensions Regulator but no doubt will receive either nothing or weasel words.
      Ref JBW, thankfully our business auto-enrolment scheme is not with Nest but it is with L & G who aren’t much better over climate hysteria.
      For our hard-working host, happy cycling!

  18. BLACK PEARL permalink
    August 4, 2020 1:41 pm

    Didn’t Robert Maxwell manipulate the Daily Mirror pension fund for his own ends as well.
    What could possibly go wrong by investing in Green …. huh !

  19. CheshireRed permalink
    August 4, 2020 1:49 pm

    O/T The Guardian continue to run at crisis speed, and now report yet another fake ‘study’, claiming ‘climate change’ will kill more people than infectious diseases in the future. That’ll be quite a leap, given current deaths due to ‘climate change’ are 0.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      August 5, 2020 8:45 am

      The Guardian has to run fast at its s it only has a few months to live!

  20. Russ Wood permalink
    August 4, 2020 4:48 pm

    The South African ANC government has, like so many other socialist enterprises, run out of “Other People’s Money”. They haven’t, however, run out of promises. Now, with the economic disaster of the ‘Covid’ shutdown, the further disaster of all the government owned enterprises running on empty, there are proposals to “soak the rich”, by getting at the only pot of gold left in SA – the pension funds. And once your very own savings are in a SA pension, you can’t take it out. It HAS to be paid in (shrinking) Rands, and into an SA bank. The first step, which hasn’t yet been taken, is to make a law that a certain percentage of pension investments must be in ANC defined objectives, whether or not they make any money. Now, since ALL of the 600+ State Owned Entities LOSE money – continuously – this does NOT seem like a good idea!

  21. ianprsy permalink
    August 5, 2020 9:52 am

    This Tory (is there any hope for us when supposedly financially competent people buy into this rubbish?) puff piece:

    has this wish list, also carefully crafted to make green stuff look good:

  22. August 6, 2020 1:18 am

    “Nest’s goal is to halve carbon emissions generated by its investments by 2030 and reach ‘net zero’ by 2050”

    This money does not belong to Nest managers
    It belongs to the pensioners. It is cruel and immoral and should be illegal to spend other people’s money in this way. The bigger issue is that there is no empirical evidence that reducing fossil fuel emissions will change anything. Without that evidence this is a criminal act and at the minimum there should be lawsuits. If not criminal charges.

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