I am thrilled to announce that the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung has decided to fund our research project “Sustainability through company pension schemes? The influence of codetermination actors on investment strategies.” The funding will allow Karen Anderson, Tobias Wiss, myself and two postdoc to study this important topic for the next two years. Read more about the project below.
Sustainability through occupational pension schemes?
The influence of codetermination actors on investment strategies
How can codetermination actors influence sustainable investments in occupational pension schemes? Considering this topic from an international comparative perspective is of crucial importance in view of the enormous increase in investments of capital-based pensions in EU countries. However, there is a lack of studies that investigate to what extent actors of co-determination influence investment decisions and use them for non-financial purposes. Investing in sustainable activities – i.e. taking ecological, social and corporate governance aspects into account – can be a means of realizing the union goal of a sustainable and just society. It is also important to clarify which standards of social-ecological investments exist and who regulates them and how.
The planned project therefore analyzes a) what influence actors of co-determination have on investments in occupational pension schemes, b) to what extent they take into account socio-ecological aspects and c) whether the preferences expressed at the beginning of the investment chain match the final investment. Answers to this are particularly relevant for Germany in view of the increasing importance of occupational pension schemes. The comparison with the Netherlands and Denmark – both countries with quasi-universal occupational pensions, strong trade union influence and substantial sustainable investments – provides important insights and recommendations for political actors in Germany.