In 2014, a response to a question to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body by Greens MSP John Finnie revealed that 4% of the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme fund was invested in arms companies. Later analysis undertaken by Friends of the Earth Scotland showed that the fund had £244,517 invested in Rolls Royce.
Rolls Royce has been involved in the project to design Britain’s new nuclear-armed Dreadnought class submarines and will manufacture their nuclear power reactors. A majority of MSPs opposed Trident renewal but, while investment in Rolls Royce continues, MSPs are effectively benefiting from the UK’s nuclear weapons programme. John Finnie argues that MSPs should be consulted on the types on investments which are made by the pension fund as “most would not want to be complicit in the misery caused by warfare” and other harmful industries.
In March 2018, a Survation poll found that nearly three quarters of Scots believe that the fund should divest from arms companies. It was subsequently announced that the trustees and the pension fund managers would discuss divestment issues at a meeting, but the outcome of that has not yet been made public.
The Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme should be held accountable to the values of the Scottish government and the Scottish people. We encourage you to raise this issue with your MSP: see section 8.5.