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Investor pressure sees results for FTSE pensions and diversity

Shareholder pressure has forced pension changes for executives at a number of public companies, including aligning contribution levels with those of employees, the UK’s Investment Association (IA) said.

Three in ten FTSE100 companies have pledged to cut their pension payments for executives in response to shareholder pressure and 17 companies have committed that any new director will be given a pension contribution in line with the majority of the workforce.

These are among changes made by 30 FTSE 100 members overall in the 2019 AGM season, the IA said.

The changes follow an IA campaign that launched in February when the trade association set out new guidance stating that investors wanted executive directors to be paid pension contributions in line with the majority of the workforce. The IA’s voting information service, IVIS, highlighted companies that did not meet this requirement over the course of the AGM season.

The IA also said that 28 of the 69 companies (36%) written to by the IA with the Hampton-Alexander Review in February for only having one or no women on their board, have added at least one additional woman to their board.

Chris Cummings, chief executive of the IA, said: “Shareholders have been very clear they want pension payments for executives to come down to the same level as the rest of the workforce and for diversity on boards to improve. We have seen a clear step-change on both of those fronts during this year’s AGM season, which is welcomed by shareholders.”

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