The Zwitserleven Feeling is inextricably linked to a beautiful world. We all want to have enough income to live on later, but in a world that is worth living in. Zwitserleven believes that the financial sector should take a leading role in achieving this.
We are pleased to tell you more about our sustainable investment policy for your pension scheme. This information is in line with the European rules on sustainability disclosures in the financial sector. The information below applies to SRLEV N.V. as a user of the Zwitserleven and Reaal brands and trade names. Information on Zwitserleven PPI N.V. as a user of the Zwitserleven brand and trade name is available here.
Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth
The European Commission (EC) presented the Europese Green Deal in December 2019. This is a series of policy initiatives aimed at making Europe climate neutral by 2050. The EC drafted an Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth.
This action plan consists of a large number of rules and regulations applying to most financial institutions. The European rules on sustainability disclosures in the financial sector are part of this action plan.
As we are a financial services provider, these rules also apply to us. We will therefore provide information on the following topics:
- What is our approach to sustainability risks?
- How are sustainability risks integrated into our remuneration policy?
- How do we deal with the principal adverse impacts?
What is our approach to sustainability risks?
We are happy to tell you more about how sustainability risks are factored in to (are integrated into) our investment decisions. Sustainability risk is an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) event or circumstance that may have an adverse impact on the value of plan assets.
The principal risks in environmental terms are the following:
- Physical risks for companies, institutions and public authorities due to climate change
- Transition risks, related to the transition to a CO2 (carbon dioxide) neutral economy
- Liability risks, for claims for damages suffered due to climate change
How we deal with sustainability risks depends in part on the type of product offered by us. We distinguish the following products:
- Pension schemes (defined contribution schemes) and unit-linked insurance under which investments are made for the account and risk of the scheme participant or policyholder.
- Pension schemes (average pay schemes or final pay schemes) and life insurance under which investments are made for our account and risk and for which we issue a guarantee.
Sustainability risks of investing for your account and risk
In our pension schemes, which invest defined contributions for the account and risk of participants to accrue a pension (defined contribution schemes), employers choose which investment products to make available to participants. For this type of pension schemes, investments are made in investment funds. These are usually Zwitserleven funds, which are managed by ACTIAM, but there are also funds that have a different fund manager. With some schemes that offer the VrijBeleggen (‘Self-Directed Investing’) investment form, participants can make choices of their own and are responsible for these choices. The fund manager of the selected funds decides on their approach to sustainability risks.
With our unit-linked insurance, which invests premiums for the account and risk of policyholders, policyholders themselves select the funds in which to invest the premiums. These are usually funds managed by ACTIAM, but there are also funds that have a different fund manager. The fund manager has the final say on how to deal with sustainability risks.
Sustainability risks at ACTIAM-managed Zwitserleven funds
ACTIAM assesses whether the value of the Zwitserleven funds is adversely affected by the sustainability risks associated with the companies or institutions in which those funds invest. For example if those companies or institutions are irresponsible or careless when it comes to sustainability aspects. ACTIAM measures sustainability risks based on data from independent data providers and climate risk related Value at Risk data. Aside from sustainability risks related to individual companies or sectors, ACTIAM also considers sustainability risks that may be tied to specific countries or regions, such as growing exposure to natural disasters (including as a result of climate change) or civil unrest.
ACTIAM applies a number of instruments in that regard:
- Screening of companies
- Exclusion from investment based on ACTIAM’s general exclusion criteria
More detailed information is available in the prospectuses of Zwitserleven Investment Funds and Zwitserleven Institutional Investment Funds. Chapter 8.6 provides more general information on sustainability risks and Chapter 11 provides fund-specific information and information on the potential impact on returns.
Sustainability risks in the selection of investment funds
Some pension schemes offer VrijBeleggen (‘Self-Directed Investing’). This investment form allows participants to choose from a variety of investment funds. The fund manager decides how much weight to assign to sustainability risks. For the Zwitserleven funds, ACTIAM integrates sustainability risks into its investment decisions in the same way as outlined above. How ASN Impact Investors (ASN funds) and BlackRock (iShares) deal with these risks for the investment funds managed by them is explained in the prospectuses of these investment funds, available on the ASN and BlackRock websites.
Sustainability risks of investing for our account and risk
We also offer life insurance and defined benefit pension schemes. For these products, SRLEV issues guarantees of payment of a certain amount upon death, for example, or payment of a certain monthly amount after retirement. SRLEV invests the contributions and premiums to generate returns.
For these types of products, SRLEV itself manages the investments. We engage asset managers for this purpose and also make our own investments in investment funds or our own investment portfolios. Because transitioning to a sustainable economy is vital in our view, we assess sustainability risks and opportunities in our processes.
We have established an ESG Risk Policy for these investments. ESG risk is therefore considered as part of the strategic risks. For all investments, we assess whether the companies, public authorities and institutions comply with ESG principles. This assessment is based on the fundamental investment principles, the responsible business conduct policy and the Sustainability Framework of Athora Netherlands N.V. SRLEV is an Athora Netherlands N.V. group company.
Based on this policy, we apply the following instruments:
- ESG integration
- Allocation of capital to sustainable investments (selection)
- Stress tests
- Exercise of voting rights and engagement programmes
We also engage third parties to help us collect data and execute our policy.
SRLEV annually conducts an operational risk analysis with stress scenarios of potential threats to SRLEV’s ability to continue as a going concern. One such threat is climate change. All relevant ESG risks are given proportionate weight in these scenarios, i.e. based on scope and complexity of the relevant risk. Because the impact of climate change on an insurance company’s assets is extremely unpredictable, most scenarios are still inherently exploratory. This matter is still under development. Relevant climate change risks are transition risks and reputation risks in our view.
Third party asset managers
SRLEV also works with third party asset managers such as ACTIAM, Allianz, Apollo, BlackRock and Goldman Sachs. All these asset managers have their own way of investing and their own policy on how to integrate sustainability risks and opportunities into their investment processes. When selecting asset managers, we apply our responsible business conduct policy and try to implement our own policy as much as we can. This process is constantly evolving.
Aside from investments made by an asset manager, SRLEV also has investments in mortgages and property. For these investments, SRLEV has drawn up separate sustainable investment policies using the following instruments:
- Fundamental investment principles
- Refurbishment and maintenance
- Measurement, monitoring and reduction of energy and water consumption and waste recycling
- Engagement with tenants
Remuneration policy and the integration of sustainability risks
SRLEV is part of Athora Netherlands N.V. Athora Netherlands N.V.’s group remuneration policy also applies to SRLEV. This group remuneration policy also explains in what respects the policy is consistent with the organisation’s policy on sustainability risks.
Aside from sustainability risks, we also have to deal with the adverse impacts of our investment decisions on sustainability factors. You can read more about this in our Principal Adverse Impacts (PAI) Statement. This statement is published every year on 30 June.
This website text was published on 30 June 2023 and has not been updated since.