We administer a number of pension schemes, and the assets of these are pooled for investment purposes. This allows the smaller schemes to access economies of scale and investment opportunities that might not be available to them otherwise. The shares in the pooled funds attributable to each pension scheme are established on a unitised basis every month.
We operate a "Return-Seeking" Pool, which is made up of equities, property unit trusts, infrastructure, Global Tactical Asset Allocation (GTAA) funds, and cash; and a "Liability-Matching" pool, consisting of corporate bonds.
Blackrock manages Liability Driven Investment portfolios for each of our schemes.
Mercer is our investment consultant, and they advise on asset allocation, manager selection and in the on-going monitoring of the Board's fund managers.
Northern Trust is the custodian of our pension scheme assets, operating a passive currency hedging programme for them and providing an independent measure of its fund managers' investment performance.
Details of the performance of each pool and a market commentary can be found in our latest Annual Report.
A Statement of Investment Principles (SIP) covers the pension funds for which the Board is corporate trustee as well as for the common investment fund. It covers the strategy and management arrangements, including custody of securities, ethical factors and restrictions within which the managers operate and the use of voting rights. SIPs for each of our pension funds can be found below.
Ethical investment and engagement
We are committed to managing our assets in a way that reflects the Church's teaching and values. We help to fund, and receive both advice and support from, the Church's Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) on all issues relating to the ethics of investment.
We do not invest in companies that have significant involvement in gambling, the production and sale of alcohol, tobacco, defence, or high interest rate lending.
We exercise as many of the voting rights associated with the shares we own as possible, and we engage directly with companies about aspects of their business activities that concern us.