UK-based international savings, retirement and insurance company Aviva’s pension solution provider for medium to large employers, Aviva Master Trust, announced that it has adopted ‘My Future Focus,’ a fully ESG integrated investment solution as its standard default investment strategy.

According to the Aviva Master Trust Trustees, they have worked with Aviva and Aviva Investors to develop the My Future Focus default investment strategy over the last year, with an ambition to put Aviva Master Trust at the forefront of ESG integration. The company stated that the Trustees have formulated their own set of ESG investment beliefs, reflecting their conviction that by including ESG factors into investment decision making, it will reduce overall investment risks while generating sustainable returns for members of the Aviva Master Trust.

The move to an ESG integrated default by Aviva Master Trust closely follows a series of sustainable investing announcements by Aviva. In October, the company announced that it had set a new 2050 net-zero carbon emissions target for its own auto-enrolment default pension funds, aligned with the Paris Agreement, and that it expects to invest over £5 billion into low carbon equities and climate transition strategies across its default funds over the next 18 months. The company also issued a call on the UK government to pass a law requiring auto-enrolment default pension funds to achieve net-zero carbon emissions status by 2050.

Jon Parker, Trustee and Chair of the Investment Sub-Committee for the Aviva Master Trust said:

“As independent Trustees of the Aviva Master Trust we are passionate about ESG and focussed on ensuring that we are providing our members with default solutions that deliver strong risk adjusted returns whilst investing responsibly and sustainably in alignment with our ESG beliefs.

“ESG is not just about environmental principles, it’s also about the reduction of investment risk for our Master Trust scheme members. We believe that over the long-term companies with strong ESG credentials will outperform companies that do not take their ESG responsibilities seriously.

“My Future Focus provides our members with a really strong and differentiated default solution that meets these objectives at a very competitive cost.

“Aviva Investors has a very strong reputation for Responsible Investment and their active approach to voting and engagement will be a key benefit for our members.”

My Future Focus consists of both ESG tilted passive and actively managed funds from Aviva Investors’ multi-asset team, investing across a diversified range of asset classes, including developed and emerging market equities and government bonds, sterling and global corporate bonds, property and high yield bonds.

Martin Palmer, Head of Master Trust for Aviva said:

“We welcome the decision by the Aviva Master Trust Trustees to adopt My Future Focus as the standard default investment strategy for the Aviva Master Trust.

“This development is aligned with Aviva’s overall commitment to ESG across its workplace pensions. In October 2020, Aviva set a 2050 net-zero target for its own auto-enrolment default pension funds.”