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. For our pension schemes, this means that we integrate sustainability risks into our investment decisions. We would like to give you more insight in how we do this and what effect this has on the return.
Qualification according to European rules
We follow the three qualifications laid down in the European Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). These qualifications are:
1. Products with a sustainable investment objective;
2. 2 Products promoting the ecological and social sustainability characteristics (ES characteristics); and
3. Products not promoting sustainability characteristics and with no sustainable investment objective.
The Zwitserleven pension schemes qualify as pension schemes promoting ES characteristics.
Sustainable Finance Closure Regulation
As Zwitserleven is a financial service provider, these rules also apply to us. Therefore, we will provide information on the following topics:
- how we handle sustainability risks in our business operations, and
- how we take into account adverse sustainability impact resulting from our investment policy.
The Zwitserleven brand and trade name are used by life insurance company SRLEV N.V. and Zwitserleven PPI (IORP) N.V. On company level, the information pursuant to the European rules is not the same for SRLEV N.V. as for Zwitserleven PPI (IORP) N.V. Information about Zwitserleven PPI (IORP) N.V. can be found here. The text about SRLEV N.V. can be found here.
For the products we offer, more information on the ES characteristics is provided below.
Investment forms promoting ES characteristics
In our pension schemes in which we invest the contributions, the employer chooses which forms of investment it wants to make available to the participants. Employers can choose between HorizonBeleggen, ProfielBeleggen or VrijBeleggen.
The asset manager of the funds used in the pension scheme determines how the ES characteristics will be promoted. Which funds are available depends on the investment form and the asset manager.
HorizonBeleggen and ProfielBeleggen
With HorizonBeleggen and ProfielBeleggen, we use lifecycle investing. A lifecycle is a certain mix of investments, in which the risk is reduced as the target retirement date approaches. This means that we change the mix of funds in order to reduce the investment risks.
In the lifecycle we use 5 Zwitserleven funds. ACTIAM is the fund manager. According to the European rules on sustainable finance disclosure, these funds are also products. ACTIAM therefore qualified these funds as funds promoting ES characteristics or funds with a sustainable investment objective. The funds in the table link to information about the fund.
|Sustainable investment objective||Promoting ES characteristics|
|Zwitserleven Wereld Aandelenfonds||Zwitserleven Selectie Fonds|
|Zwitserleven Credits Fonds||Zwitserleven Medium Duration Fonds|
|Zwitserleven Long Duration Fonds|
The following information can be found on the pages of these Zwitserleven funds:
- How the investment policy of the funds complies with ES characteristics (prospectus);
- The sustainable investment objective of the Zwitserleven Wereld Aandelenfonds (prospectus) and the Zwitserleven Credits Fonds (prospectus).
In the illustrations of the lifecycle, you can see that the distribution of investments over the various Zwitserleven funds varies during the term. And you can see the percentage invested for the participant in funds with a sustainable investment objective and in funds promoting ES characteristics.
The sustainability framework in HorizonBeleggen and ProfielBeleggen
ACTIAM's sustainability framework classifies the Zwitserleven funds as impact, sustainable or responsible investing. For the 5 funds used in the lifecycle by ACTIAM, this classification is:
|Zwitserleven Wereld Aandelenfonds||20% Impact, 80% Sustainable|
|Zwitserleven Selectie Fonds||30% Impact, 40% Sustainable, 30% Responsible|
|Zwitserleven Credits Fonds||Sustainable|
|Zwitserleven Long Duration Fonds||Responsible|
|Zwitserleven Medium Duration Fonds||Responsible|
Zwitserleven Wereld Aandelenfonds en Zwitserleven Selectie Fonds beleggen door in
Zwitserleven Wereld Aandelenfonds and Zwitserleven Selectie Fonds invest in a number of other funds, which explains the percentages. It looks like this:
Explanation of fund distribution in the lifecycle
For the lifecycles that we use in HorizonBeleggen and ProfielBeleggen, it is important to aim for a good return up to 15 years before the target retirement date. This return objective can be combined with a sustainable investment objective.
From 15 years before the target retirement date, it becomes important to protect the amount of the accrued pension. So, this is becoming more important and the investments used for this purpose are very specific. These investments consist of safe (minimum risk rating of AA-) medium and long duration bonds, money market instruments and derivatives. For this purpose, we use the Zwitserleven Medium Duration Fonds and the Zwitserleven Long Duration Fonds. These very specific investments do promote ES characteristics but are less suitable for pursuing a sustainable investment objective.
With the VrijBeleggen investment form, the participant is personally responsible for the composition of the investments. We determine the investor profile on the basis of the questionnaire you complete. The participant is allowed to deviate from the investor profile when selecting investments.
Within VrijBeleggen, the participant can choose between Zwitserleven funds, ASN funds and iShares. For each fund, the asset manager has determined whether it is a fund with sustainable investment objectives, a fund that promotes ES characteristics or whether the investment policy of the fund meets neither qualification. Our investment conviction is that we want to contribute to a more beautiful world. Therefore, the participant in VrijBeleggen can mainly choose funds with a sustainable investment objective or which promote ES characteristics. And there are some funds that have neither.
ACTIAM has laid down ESG principles in its Sustainable Investment Policy. For all Zwitserleven funds, ACTIAM assesses whether companies, governments and institutions in which it invests comply with the ESG principles. ACTIAM classifies its funds in responsible, sustainable or impact funds. Responsible investment funds set minimum behavioural requirements and/or formulate sustainability objectives to a limited extent. For the sustainable funds, strict sustainability targets have been formulated in addition to the financial targets. The impact funds have an additional objective on top of the financial objectives and strict sustainability objectives. Demonstrable positive social added value is created, according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Zwitserleven funds participants can choose from in VrijBeleggen are funds with a sustainable investments objective or which promote ES characteristics.
View the Zwitserleven funds
ASN does the utmost to exclude sustainability risks from its funds. They accomplish this exclusively through positive selection. This means that ASN only chooses approved countries and companies to invest in. ASN has an extensive policy and protocol for the selection process. This is consistent with international views on sustainability and treaties, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For each fund, ASN publishes which companies, institutions and countries have been admitted and why. ASN’s funds qualify as funds that have a sustainable investment objective. You can read more about it on the ASN website.
View the ASN funds
BlackRock is the fund manager of iShares. BlackRock has no policies or processes in place that take sustainability risks into account in any of the funds available for VrijBeleggen. This means that these funds do not promote sustainability characteristics and do not have a sustainable investment objective. BlackRock does publish a fact sheet with ESG information for each fund. The fact sheet presents Morgan Stanley Capital International Index (MSCI) ESG data including the MSCI ESG classification. This classification indicates how sustainable the investment funds are in relation to other investment funds. More information on iShares in VrijBeleggen can be found on the website of BlackRock.
How ACTIAM handles sustainability risks
ACTIAM is the fund manager of the Zwitserleven funds. ACTIAM believes that its approach of integrating sustainability risks into the investment policy leads to better investment decisions. And, in the long run, to a better risk-return ratio.
An explanation of what sustainability risks are, an overview of different sustainability risks and the possible impact on returns can be found here.
How ACTIAM integrates sustainability risks into its investment policy
ACTIAM assesses, for all Zwitserleven funds, whether the companies, governments and institutions invested in comply with the ESG principles. The Fundamental investment principles and Material sustainability drivers are guiding in this endeavour.
Do companies, governments and institutions show that they can manage the main sustainability risks and/or take advantage of sustainability opportunities? The extent to which they can demonstrate this determines their classification in the ACTIAM sustainable investment framework. And this classification determines whether the responsible, sustainable or impact funds are allowed to invest in these companies, governments and institutions or not.
Responsible, sustainable or impact is a scale that makes it clear that more and more attention is being paid to sustainability.
- Responsible investment funds set minimum behavioural requirements and/or formulate sustainability objectives to a limited extent.
- For the sustainable funds, strict sustainability objectives have been formulated in addition to the financial targets.
- The impact funds have an additional objective on top of the financial targets and strict sustainability objectives. Demonstrable positive social added value is created, according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
To ensure that the investment policy of the Zwitserleven funds complies with ES characteristics, ACTIAM applies a number of instruments. These instruments are also used in funds with a sustainable investment objective. The instruments are:
- Exclusion policy;
- Use of ESG-scores;
- Engagement policy; and
- Voting policy at shareholders' meetings.
Chapter 11 of the prospectus for Zwitserleven Investment Funds and Zwitserleven Institutional Investment Funds states for each fund whether it is a responsible, sustainable or impact fund. And what exactly are the minimum requirements, the strict sustainability objectives and what demonstrable positive social added value is being pursued.
In chapters 4.2, 4.2.3, 4.3 and 4.4 you can read more about the exclusion policy, use of ESG scores, engagement policy and voting policy at shareholders' meetings.
This is the current list of companies excluded by ACTIAM. The excluded government bonds and the reason why they are excluded are listed here.
The ACTIAM ESC score policy for companies can be found here. There is also an up-to-date overview of ongoing engagement discussions. And you can read the ACTIAM voting policy document.
View the quarterly report on responsible investment: 4th quarter of 2020.