The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has issued its Stewardship Guide and Voting Guidelines for 2021. The document sets out the PLSA’s views on current market best practice and its voting recommendations for AGMs in 2021.
The key changes contained in the 2021 Guidelines are:
- Virtual shareholder meetings – The Guidelines state that, in light of concerns that virtual shareholder meetings may reduce investor engagement, the PLSA would recommend voting against a proposal to allow virtual shareholder meetings, unless the proposal is time limited.
- Executive remuneration – The Guidelines state that maximum pay-outs to executives must remain in line with the expectations of shareholders and other stakeholders and should take into account the impact of Covid-19, any taxpayer-funded support that the company has received from government and the treatment of the wider workforce.
- Climate-related reporting – As the largest pension schemes will likely be required to report in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce for Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) from October 2021, there is increasing focus on listed company disclosures in relation to climate change and TCFD-aligned reporting.
The Guidance also incorporates the PLSA’s voting recommendations summary chart, which sets out its voting recommendations on certain issues including executive remuneration, audit, company leadership and dividends.