Saturday 11 July 2020

Aid group calls on pension funds to ditch dubious arms investments

Photo: zeferli@gmail.com via Depositphotos.com

Nine of the biggest Dutch pension funds are investing in companies which supply weapons to regimes that violate human rights, according to research by Dutch aid group Pax.

Pax says the funds invest more than €1bn in dubious weapons manufacturers, with civil service giant ABP plus health fund PFZW and engineering fund PME accounting for €927m of the total.

The findings come from a new study by the Fair Pension Guide.

‘Some of most Dutch people’s retirement money is invested in arms companies that, for instance, keep Saudi Arabia’s jet fighters in the air,’ PAX spokesman Cor Oudes said in a statement. ‘These planes drop bombs that kill and maim civilians in Yemen.’

The study looks at the largest companies supplying weapons to around 50 countries either currently involved in an armed conflict or which violate human rights.

Aircraft engines

Of the 14 companies supplying weapons to countries with poor human rights records, United Technologies Corporation and General Electric have the most Dutch pension fund investment.

Both companies provide and maintain aircraft engines for the air forces of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Pax says.

The organisation says pension funds should develop good arms trade policies and urges funds to encourage these arms manufacturers to stop selling arms to dubious regimes.

‘If the manufacturers fail to take action, pension funds should exclude these companies from their investments,’ Pax said.

Last year, civil service pension fund ABP, one of the biggest pension funds in world, said it is phasing out all investments in tobacco and nuclear weapons.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.