At The Gathering 2017, Karen Shackleton facilitated a session focused on encouraging and enabling UK pension funds to allocate 5% of their assets to social investment. The Pensions for Purpose initiative was the result of these discussions. Pensions for Purpose is a collaborative initiative seeking to promote understanding of impact investing. Partners to this initiative include impact managers, pension funds, social enterprises and others involved or interested in impact investment. Both internationally and in the UK pension funds are starting to think about allocating capital to impact but far fewer, particularly in the UK, are taking real steps to do this.
We think three questions still need to be answered around this topic:
Do we really need this type of scale capital in the social investment sector and where is this capital most needed?
If so, how can we ensure that impact remains front and centre of pension fund involvement and that it does not become extractive to mission?
In what ways could incentives such as tax relief, guarantees, soft capital or grant be used to catalyze these investments? This session will provide an update on progress made since The Gathering 2017 and invite discussion on these three questions with the aim of using collective minds to drive forward this agenda.