Human Resources

Survey Results

In November 2006, we asked for your opinion on Socially Responsible Investing.

Feedback from members is very important to us. Principle #5 of the Joint Pension Board's Policy and Governance Document says: “Solicit information about and be responsive to member preferences regarding the plan.”

In total, 353 pension plan and RIF members answered the survey, which demonstrates the importance that you attach to this issue.

Below are the survey results:

  1. What type of investment strategy would you like the fund to have? (The number respresents the total number of responses; respondents were allowed to select more than one)
    1. Negative screens: certain companies or industries would be excluded because of their involvement in activities that are deemed detrimental to society, such as: tobacco, alcohol, military or weapons, gambling, pornography, nuclear power, etc.: 121
    2. Positive screens: investing in companies that have superior practices in the area of human rights, workers’ rights, environment, corporate governance, corporate citizenship, gender and cultural equity, etc.: 182
    3. Socially responsible approach integrated with the investment process: involves investing in companies that are positioned to be rewarded financially for their social, environmental and governance practices.: 171
  2. What specific ethical issues would you like the fund to address? (The number respresents the total number of responses; respondents were allowed to select more than one)
    1. Environmental: 272
    2. Human rights: 216
    3. Military: 86
    4. Corporate governance: 99
    5. Social issues: 145
    6. Other: workers rights: 11, animal rights: 6, miscellaneous: 18
  3. If the fund introduced does not address your specific cause directly, would you still consider it as an alternative investment option to your current portfolio? (Number of votes in parentheses)
    • Yes: 68.6% (231)
    • No: 17.2% (58)
    • Maybe: 14.2% (48)
  4. The Pension Board is considering adding one socially responsible fund at first, and perhaps more if there’s a strong interest from members. The initial fund will most likely be a Global Equity fund; investing in stocks issued in major markets around the world.
    1. Would you be interested in investing in such a fund? (Number of votes in parentheses)
      • Yes: 82.2% (290)
      • No: 17.8% (63)
    2. What portion of your funds would you consider investing in such an option? (Number of votes in parentheses)
      • Don’t know:   43.1% (125)
      • 0%-5%:        10.3% (30)
      • 6%-10%:        9.7% (28)
      • 10%-25%:     22.8% (66)
      • 25%-50%:       8.6% (25)
      • 50%-100%:     5.5% (16)
      • Total:          100.0% (290)
    3. Do you feel you would have the necessary investment options to adequately structure your portfolio, based on your particular circumstances, such as risk tolerance and investment horizon? (Number of votes in parentheses)
      • Yes: 66.4% (75)
      • No: 6.2% (6)
      • Don’t know: 27.4% (31)
  5. Due to potentially low volume of assets in the fund, the fees charged for the socially responsible fund by the pension plans will likely be higher than on other funds in the plan, perhaps double. Would that deter you from investing in the fund? (Number of votes in parentheses)
    • Yes: 37.2% (123)
    • No: 41.1% (136)
    • Maybe: 21.8% (72)

The Board has been informed of these results and is continuing to investigate a socially responsible investing option.