65% of ABP clients want divestment

Dutch media criticize largest Dutch pension fund ABP for investments in nuclear weapons producers in spite of client preferences.

Dutch prime time TV and radio news show EenVandaag asked 7,000 clients of ABP what they think about investments in nuclear weapons. 2/3 of respondents said they want their pension fund to divest from nuclear weapons production and 90% of respondents said they would like to be asked about such controversial investments in advance.

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Pension plans in the Netherlands are organised per industry, meaning that employees cannot chose which institution they build up pension with. ABP is the largest Dutch pension fund with 334 billion Euro managed. Its clients are government employees, teachers and army personnel.

ABP has responded by saying that ‘there are many different opinions among its clients’ and ‘some clients do not think this is an important matter’. In addition, ABP responded that none of the investments violate international or domestic rules and regulations.

In the absence of a prohibition on nuclear weapons, this is true. However, in response to last year’s report. ABP indicated that it would re-evaluate its investment policy for controversial weapons. This time, ABP acknowledged that it ‘wants its investments to be more than just about money’ and now indicated that a new policy may be in place by June 2015.

written by

Wilbert is a political scientist working for the PAX Security and Disarmament team since 2010 as researcher and campaigner. He primarily focusses on and frequently publishes and speaks about nuclear disarmament, European security, toxic remnants of war, international military infrasctructure and nuclear weapon free zones.

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