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Investments

ABP aims for a good and affordable pension for its participants, now and in the future. And we aim for a sustainable world in which to enjoy that pension. This is why we pay attention to returns, risks, costs and to how the companies we invest in deal with people, the environment and good governance (ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance).

ABP invests the pension contributions that participants and employers pay each month in various asset categories, such as real estate, equities and bonds. We do this because investing generates a higher return in the long term than saving. In the coming years, we expect an average return of around 4% per year. Of course, we do not invest haphazardly to achieve the highest possible return. Our investment professionals continually assess whether the risks we take counterbalance the expected return.

ABP aims for a diversified investment portfolio in terms of geographies, sectors and asset classes. In this manner, we can spread risks and limit the effect on the portfolio of an adverse development in a particular geography, sector or asset class. 

Every potential investment is assessed on four criteria: 

  • Does it provide an attractive expected return?
  • Is the risk acceptable?
  • Are the costs not too high?
  • Does the company operate in a sufficiently responsible and sustainable manner.

Our investment portfolio is the result of a meticulous investment process, involving expert professionals throughout the organization.

Also view the Investments Declaration.

ABP’s total invested assets amount to €480 billion (November 30, 2022). Over the past 20 years we have achieved an average return of over 7% on an annual basis. Due to structurally lower interest rates, we expect the average annual return to be around 4% in the coming years. 

Return on investments
2015    2.7%
2016    9.5%
2017    7.6%
2018   -2.3%
2019  16.8%
2020    6.6%
2021   11.1%

Our policy for 2020 – 2025

In our 2020-2025 sustainable and responsible investing policy, we show our vision for 2050 and our ambitions for 2030 based on this vision. For the shorter term (2025 and 2030) we have established concrete goals, as a first step on the way to realizing these ambitions and vision - all built on the foundation of our 2015-2020 policy. 

From October 26, 2021 onwards, we have been strengthening our climate policy (see our press release). The climate sections in the policy documents below still reflect the situation before that date. We will soon publish an adjusted version. For more information, please refer to our climate policy. 

View the English summary of our Sustainable and responsible investment policy here.
Please view the factsheet 'Our policy 2020-2025'.

Climate Policy 

In December 2022, we updated our Climate policy for 2022-2030. Our main goals summarized:

  • A portfolio in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement
  • Net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
  • 50% less greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 than in 2019
  • Invest €30 billion in the climate transition by 2030, €10 billion of which in impact investments

Focus on transitions

We see two major transitions in the coming years that we address with our policy. These transitions have a decisive impact on companies' ability to create long-term value and on the lives of our participants. These two major transitions are: 

  1. Climate change
  2. Conservation of nature and biodiversity

Human rights and corporate governance

We regard corporate respect for human rights not only as a prerequisite for all our investments, but also as the precondition for these transitions to progress justly. Additionally, we see good corporate governance as fundamental. Without good governance, good business management, and a good relationship with stakeholders, companies cannot successfully address the two transitions in a sustainable and responsible way.

ABP’s approach to corporate governance is set out in the ABP Corporate Governance Framework and the ABP Stewardship Policy. With our asset manager APG we have made arrangements to deal with conflicts of interests in relation to stewardship activities.

ABP votes at all shareholder meetings whenever practically possible. Our voting policy applies globally. In making our voting decisions we take into account the specific context and market of the company, national corporate governance codes as well as local laws and regulations. We are transparent about our vote decisions at the shareholder meetings of the companies we invest in.

Excluded countries and companies

ABP does not invest in: 

  • Companies involved in the production of weapons that are banned by international treaties to which the Netherlands is party (cluster bombs, anti-personnel (land)mines and biological and chemical weapons). 
  • Producers of tobacco and (important components of) nuclear weapons 
  • Government bonds of countries on which the UN or EU has imposed a binding weapons embargo.

You can view the most recent exclusion list here

 

Responsible Investment Report

ABP published separate Sustainable and Responsible Investment Reports up to and including the 2019 financial year. As of 2020, this information is integrated into our annual report. 

Sustainable and Responsible Investment Report 2019
Sustainable and Responsible Investment Report 2018
Sustainable and Responsible Investment Report 2017
Sustainable and Responsible Investment Report 2016
Sustainable and Responsible Investment Report 2015

Taxes contribute to sound public finances and a stable society, in which social facilities are available and with which people feel connected. By dealing responsibly with taxes, ABP can contribute to a livable world in which our participants can enjoy their pension. To this end, we have drawn up a fiscal policy, with ten fiscal principles. 

In this position paper we explain our tax policy. We also provide insight into the questions we receive about this and the importance of taxes for our participants.