State Sector Retirement funds must stop investing in arms companies

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Members of a government-implemented super scheme will be deeply disappointed their savings are being invested in companies which make cluster bombs or nuclear weapons, the PSA says.

The State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (SSRSS) has been closed to new members since October 2008 and has around 30,000 members invested in two providers, ASB and AMP.

Both have confirmed to Radio New Zealand that they invest in companies which manufacture cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons.

This is despite questions about the legality of these investments, raised in particular by the New Zealand Super Fund which says this type of investment is not compatible with New Zealand’s laws and international treaty obligations.

PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says this will be disappointing and concerning to past and present public servants who are members of the scheme.

"Last week I wrote to the State Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes, seeking clarification on this issue," Mr Barclay says.

"Since 2008 investors in the SSRSS have not been able to switch their fund to a different provider.

"There are indications these investment practices may be illegal - and at the very best, they are unethical."

The PSA notes the State Services Commission has asked both funds to offer an ethical investment choice.

"We do not believe any government-mandated fund should hold investments which are excluded by the NZ Super Fund," Mr Barclay says.

"We look forward to working with the State Services Commission to make sure SSRSS members have ethical investment choices available to them."