The UK government’s Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) announced today the launch of “Green Nudge”, a new three-week trial aimed at encouraging pension savers to make green investment choices and increase engagement on the sustainability of pension investments.

The initiative, which was commissioned as part of the government’s COP26 agenda, will test the impact of behavioral nudges and messages on increasing saver engagement with the sustainability of pension investments, and how this could lead to making greener pension decisions.

Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions, said:

“These trials will give us vital insight into how interventions can boost saver engagement and encourage greener choices. I look forward to seeing the results.”

Under the new initiative, the DWP, in collaboration the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) is working with global asset manager Aviva, UK workplace pension provider Smart Pension, and financial service company Hargreaves Lansdown to deliver the “nudges” and messages to more than 160,000 pension scheme members to empower savers to invest in more sustainable pensions, or learn more about the sustainability of their pension.

Emma Douglas, Director of Workplace Savings & Retirement at Aviva, said:

“Increasing engagement with pension saving is a top priority for our clients and for Aviva, and this trial will consider whether customer messaging around climate change can prompt people to engage more. Of equal importance is educating savers about the role their pension scheme investments can have in achieving net zero ambitions, and this trial will do that too.”

The new initiative marks a continuation of the DWP’s efforts to promote sustainable investing and transparency for pension schemes. Earlier this week, DWP introduced new measures which would require UK pension fund schemes to report on the alignment of their investments with the global climate goal to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Opperman, added:

“Through the productive long-term investment power of pensions, we can help the UK get to net zero and deliver both investment returns and a sustainable planet.”