Member Survey Results: Potential Fossil Fuel Free Balanced Fund option

In March 2019, we surveyed the membership to gauge your level of interest and commitment towards investing in a potentially new Fossil Fuel Free Balanced Fund option. The purpose of the survey was to determine if there is a sufficient amount of member interest for the Board to further pursue a Fossil Fuel Free Balanced Fund as a new investment option within the UBC Faculty Pension Plan. The following are the key results from the survey:

  • Out of 5921 members surveyed, we received 921 responses (15.5%).
  • Out of the 921 responses, 565 (61.3%) members voted “Yes” and 356 (38.7%) voted “No.” The “Yes” votes represent 9.5% of the total plan membership.
  • The age demographics of the survey respondents are similar to the Plan’s overall age demographics.

Based on the members’ positive response rate and the dollar amounts a potential new Fossil Fuel Free Balanced Fund option might attract, the Trustees have decided to further investigate whether this new fund option can be offered to our members. As the information accompanying the survey had indicated, there are still both legal and operational issues that would need to be satisfied before the fund can be offered. The following are the next steps in the process:

  1. The Trustees will need to carefully address two key issues:
    • Clearly defining the parameters of a Fossil Fuel Free Fund (e.g. what should be excluded); and
    • Ensuring to their satisfaction that making a Fossil Fuel Free Balanced Fund option available is compatible with their legal duty to administer the UBC Faculty Pension Plan in the best financial interests of the members.
  2. There will need to be discussions with Sun Life Financial, the Plan’s record keeper, around any operational requirements for adding a Fossil Fuel Free Fund option.

Once the steps above have been satisfactorily completed, a consultant would then be engaged for a Manager Search of a suitable investment management firm(s) and a Fossil Fuel Free Balanced Fund to meet our requirements. A potential new Fossil Fuel Free Balanced Fund option could possibly be available within the next 12 months.

We will provide further updates on this matter as they become available.

Recommended Reading

The following are links to the two education articles that were published in the February 2019 Faculty Pension Plan Update newsletter. These two articles also accompanied the member survey that was released in March 2019.

Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing and the UBC Faculty Pension Plan 

Potential Fossil Fuel Free Balanced Fund option and member survey