Put your money where your mouth is – socially conscious super
Chances are you are socially conscious about the food you eat and clothes you buy. Socially conscious purchases make us feel good, and are something most of us are happy to spend a little extra on. Now, you also may not be aware that it’s actually possible to do the same with your finances.
VicSuper has introduced a super investment option that avoids investing in companies that might contribute to climate change, cause social harm or infringe on human rights. The best part is you don’t have to compromise if you select this option; the fees are comparable to an ordinary balanced investment option.
What is socially conscious super?
Have you ever thought about what companies and industries your superannuation fund invests in? If you are anything like me, you probably pay attention to where your fruit and veg are grown or the conditions your jeans are produced in, but have never given your monetary investments a second thought.
Typically, the only say you have in where you super is invested is the class of asset, such as cash, Australian shares or international shares, but no say in the specific shares themselves. Your super could be invested in companies that you would ordinarily not support, like tobacco or alcohol producers.
By excluding investments in certain companies, VicSuper’s socially conscious option aims to do good in three ways. The first takes on climate change by not investing in companies that hold fossil fuel reserves for energy purposes or whose principal revenue source comes directly from fossil fuel activities.
The second achieves certain social objectives by avoiding companies that are materially involved in activities that might cause social harm. That includes companies involved in tobacco production, alcohol, gambling, military weapons and pornography.
The third involves protecting human rights, labour rights and the environment by avoiding investing in companies that have been involved in either severe incidents or controversies, or companies that have not been adhering to widely accepted global conventions.
Why you should consider switching
It’s important to consider fees, charges, and returns when considering any super fund investment option. Socially conscious is no different .. After all, you want to end up with the most amount of money possible once you hit retirement, and the wrong fund could massively reduce this. The VicSuper Socially Conscious investment option doesn’t compromise on returns, fees or services, while at the same time making you feel great that your money is invested in a responsible way, which is helping to make the future better for everyone.
It’s easy to avoid thinking about your super, given it’s something you don’t actually need until much later in life, but one of the best things you can do to make your financial future brighter is take control of your super, and ensure you have a say in how your money is invested. If you think the companies that your super is invested in doesn’t make a difference, think again. Super in Australia accounts for over a quarter (28.6% to be precise) of household net worth, more than $2 trillion.
Where to find out more
So do you want to make a difference and take charge of how your superannuation is invested? Visit VicSuper to find out more.